MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY : PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS: Eat Less? Drink Less? in the Year of Dying too Soon We Need to Get Real

 

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MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY :

PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS:

Eat Less? Drink Less? in the Year of Dying too Soon We Need to Get Real

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Eat Less? Drink Less? in the Year of Dying too Soon We Need to Get Real

Anne Perkins

Wednesday 28 December 2016 06.52 EST

The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/28/2016-year- dying-too-soon-public-health-england-advice

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j336m6c

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If you have got this far through 2016 without thinking about living and dying, it seems safe to assume that you dont read much and you definitely wont be reading this (unless maybe by some spooky coincidence I peg out on the long walk I am about to set off on, and there is a macabre interest in the serendipity of my last thoughts. In 2016, nothing can surprise). For the rest of us, the years slowly unfurling scroll of the dead, and above all of the dead too young, has been a stop-start conversation about the lethal genius of creativity, about good lives and, above all, avoidable deaths.

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Not much united those unwittingly cast in the biopic of 2016, the Year of Dying Too Soon, subtitle: a cautionary tale about the consequences of prolonged substance abuse, but I am willing to bet my walking boots that most of them had one thing in common. Despite its solipsistic appeal, not one would ever have taken the trouble to fill in Public Health Englands healthy lifestyle questionnaire.

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There are several reasons for this confident assertion, but one is acknowledged in the way the One You questionnaire, titled, How are you? theres a hint there  tries to sneak round the great big dilemma that usually sabotages even the least ambitious of New Year resolutions. That might be called the why should I stop doing something that makes me feel good now just because it might make me ill (defined in a very broad not-well kind of way) sometime much, much later on in my life dilemma.

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Everyone has a chain-smoking aunt who lived until she was 90, and some of us have hard-drinking rellies who kept at it for as long as they could get to the shops; and we all know of individual tragedies, of people who ran marathons and never deviated from a life of sober moderation and still got carried off by a lethal and incurable cancer at a cruelly youthful age.

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The only certainty in life is death. When and how you die can (but doesnt necessarily) indicate how well you lived; that makes it a political concern, though not half as much of a concern as what the process of our dying is going to cost the survivors who are paying for the NHS.

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Public Health England (PHE)  an outfit whose admirable purpose is, well, encouraging public health  tries to weasel round this with a cheery note of positivity that hints at a degree of self-awareness. It knows that the people visiting its site and working through its questionnaire are theirs already. Because presumably  just guessing here  the people it most needs to reach are the people who dont think about their health and are much less troubled by the possible link between their lifestyle choices and their future wellbeing than the moment they are in. I can say this confidently because it is a feeling I strongly identify with.

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snip

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
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MEDICAL CONDITIONS: OBESITY : PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS: Eat Less? Drink Less? in the Year of Dying too Soon We Need to Get Real

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