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16 Nov

A Healthy Lifestyle in the United States

A Healthy Lifestyle in the United States

Our local governments are hard at work passing laws to get us to be healthier.  In 2011, San Francisco banned toys in fast food meals, like the McDonald’s Happy Meal.  The ban was implemented because having toys included with these fast food meals caused children to favor unhealthy meals, instead of healthy meals.  New York City has tried to ban the size of soft drinks, again, all in the name of public health.  Now, New York City is passing a law that will make the minimum age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products 21.  Some are using the argument, “they’re old enough to go to war, but not old enough to smoke.”  (The same argument, I remember hearing about soldiers during the Vietnam War and the drinking age of 21.) 

Am I complaining about government intrusion? No, I’m just confused.  Why does the government insist on maintaining the practice of Daylight-Saving Time (DST), if we’re all trying to get healthy?  I’ve found that during DST, I actually feel drowsier.  When we turn back the clocks to Standard Time, my body perks up, until we have to “spring ahead”.  Friends and family told me I was crazy, but recent publications and studies have surmounting evidence that shows it does affect sleep.

The New England Journal of Medicine found heart attacks increase in the first week of DST. Additionally, according to the Center for Disease control, the United States spends almost 109 billion dollars in “health care services, medications and lost productivity.” The same article states that “1 in every 4 deaths” is caused by a heart attack. So, why would we do something every spring to increase our risk of death?

As ordinary citizens, we have the ability to say, “no” to the soft drink, tobacco and fast food industries. Yet, in order to escape the bad health effects of Daylight Savings Time, we can only move to Arizona or garner enough public support to get rid of it in our state. As we continue to move forward as a country, hopefully the “healthy lifestyle” that our government envisions for its people balances out to include many measures, including a focus on an overall healthier standard diet, and perhaps the removal of out of date  practices, such as Daylight-Saving Time. 

 

Mickey Lovingood is a Business Development Coordinator on our Healthcare Business Development Team. She has more than 15 years’ experience in customer relations and sales.

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