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Spring Has Finally Sprung

Posted on 05/12/2009

Approximately 2,500 years ago, the Asian sage, Confucius, described a person’s love for humanity as a chief virtue.  However, he didn’t think that one should love everyone with the same intensity.  While compassion for all is essential, he wrote, the greatest satisfaction comes from love of family.

With that in mind, I’d like to share an email I received after posting last week’s blog.  It’s from my cousin, Maggie.

“Seattle, I like your message to Oprah.  I’m glad you shared it with us.  We did not see the Oprah show, but she has often not been favorable to us.  Your message just said it all so well.  As Kelly shook his head, you found the words.

“Spring has finally sprung here in North Dakota.  LeRoy has tilled the garden, and we are thinking about doing some planting very soon.  Thank You for sharing.  Love you.  Maggie.”
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The big news for me this week is the Congressional effort to give employers “sweeping new authority to reward employees” for healthy behavior.  Included are incentives to help people exercise more, lose weight, stop smoking and—drum roll, please—eat healthy.  The goal is to help people control blood pressure, fight obesity, and manage diabetes and other chronic conditions.

One Senator, Tom Harkin of Iowa, is quoted as saying, “Prevention and wellness should be a centerpiece of health care reform.”    The White House is in agreement.  One of President Obama’s principles for health legislation is “invest in prevention and wellness.”

An article in the New York Times this week contains this paragraph: “Growing numbers of employers have adopted wellness programs after finding that they can lower health costs and increase the productivity of workers.”  

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog, or hearing me talk, or listening to our distributors, you are familiar with this argument.  How many times have we at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating made the point that it’s far wiser to spend a little money now to help people eat right than to spend a lot in a few months or years to help them battle any one of several serious illnesses?  Are you listening insurance companies?

I have been told privately that legislation will be signed into law this fall to give employers tax credits for various actions related to implementing these sentiments.  Of course, government being government, nothing is a sure thing.  There is opposition from various lobby groups, including those who don’t think employers should pry into their employees’ private lives.  That’s an important concern, but it pales in comparison with our need—as individuals and a nation—to combat the obesity epidemic.

In my opinion, this inclusion of preventative methods—basically, establishing a healthy lifestyle to promote a healthy life—is a very important—perhaps even historical—development in the history of American health care.  

I don’t think this legislation is the end-all or be-all solution for our health woes, but I am grateful that our health care approach is beginning to look at what I think is the common-sense solution: help people build a healthy lifestyle.  This is a very good start and long over-due.

Personally, I prefer a system where employers and insurance companies are able to accomplish this objective.  I wouldn’t want government to manage this effort.  I am pleased they seem poised to begin the process of enabling it.

Everyone knows that the costs of health care are relentlessly increasing.  That includes our cost of providing freshly prepared, healthy, portion-controlled meals that help people suffering from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and other related diseases. 

We don’t take short cuts now and we never will.  We are generally successful at controlling the prices we have to charge, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can afford us.  Which breaks my heart.  

That is why I am encouraged by this approach.  I ask you to help by copying this blog, pasting it into an e-mail, and sending it to your Congressperson and Senator.  

Thank you so much.

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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