This weeks Run With An Idea post could be quite controversial, but these are my own personal views.
The premise of this post is, “being fit and healthy is a personal responsibility, the government shouldn’t intervene.”
I can only speak of the issue as I see it in the UK, but I guess that it could be the same in countless other countries across the world. There seems to be a worrying trend in some peoples attitude to their health in our society. They smoke, eat too much and do no exercise. These are the same people that are costing the NHS a small fortune to treat.
I regularly run past a local hospital and see patients (and some staff) smoking outside. I’ve even see a person in a wheelchair and an IV connected to their arm smoking. Surely somewhere along the line personal responsibility should come in? We have a very good anti-smoking campaign running in the UK for many years and it surprises me that anyone still smokes.
According to ASH, smoking in the UK costs the NHS approximately £2.7 billion a year. Another study put the estimated cost as high as £5.2 billion. A report by the Policy Exchange in 2010 estimated the total cost to society of smoking to be £13.74 billion1.
Obesity is also a massive problem. A survey published in 20122 reported that just over a quarter of all adults (26%) in England are obese. It said that modern lifestyles do not help; with the easy access to cheap high energy food that is often marketed aggressively, combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
I’m not saying that the NHS shouldn’t treat peoples illnesses, but I do think that we should do more to educate people about the benefits of a healthy diet combined with a sustainable exercise program. But, I don’t think that we should treat people who do nothing to help themselves. That may sound harsh but in some cases I think it should apply.
Too many people have the attitude of its not my fault or to look for someone else to blame. Can we really afford to spend our resources like this?
Maybe I’m too old school. My attitude is, if you want something crack on and do it, if you fail then try again. Use your common sense, get your head down and just do it.
Its your body, its your health, so do something about it.