I was listening to Duke and The Doctor tonight on a trip down to pick up some school supplies for my youngest son.. They were talking about health and choices and for the first time I heard Dr. Jan McBarron acknowledge that we will not live forever. A lot of our choices not only determine how long we will probably live but also how well we enjoy ourselves while we are living it. They were suggesting an 80/20 plan. For 80% of our time we eat healthy and do healthy things, the remaining 20% should be spent on decadence, my word, not theirs but that is essentially it. And I agree with them on this.
However, then along comes the topic of smoking. Now I’m not a smoker, I haven’t been for twenty-five years. I don’t really like being around smokers but some people I care a lot about are smokers. I wish they would quit but I know they won’t. The word from The Duke and The Doctor is quit smoking. It isn’t we think you ought to quit, or we sincerely encourage you to quit, it was quit. Period. It is very good advice.
The trouble is that it is advice that many won’t follow. It’s kind of like, . . . no, it is exactly like teaching sexual abstinance to teenagers. It’s excellent advice that many will follow but not all and for those that won’t follow it we teach safe sex. Now, I’m not about to suggest that we teach safe smoking. It can’t be done, but we can give nutritional advice to people who, for whatever reason, choose to continue to smoke.
The problem is that health issues are decided more often by special interest groups than by healthcare professionals. Two health problems are tackled in two entirely different ways due to public opinion. Do we teach abstinance or precaution? Well let’s look at the polls to decide or let’s listen to the loudest special interest group to decide, the polls will follow them shortly anyway.
Personally, I just wish there was some consistency in the way we handle things.