When it is impossible to turn on the News and not hear about Federal or State Budgets…here is an interesting concept to “Save a Trillion Dollars” and it all starts with eating right!
In the scheme of things, saving the 38 billion bucks that Congress seems poised to agree upon is not a big deal. A big deal is saving a trillion bucks. And we could do that by preventing disease instead of treating it.
For the first time in history, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and others kill more people than communicable ones. Treating these diseases — and futile attempts to “cure” them — costs a fortune, more than one-seventh of our GDP.
But they’re preventable, and you prevent them the same way you cause them: lifestyle. A sane diet, along with exercise, meditation and intangibles like love prevent and even reverse disease. A sane diet alone would save us hundreds of billions of dollars and maybe more.
This isn’t just me talking. In a recent issue of the magazine Circulation, the American Heart Association editorial board stated flatly that costs in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease — the leading cause of death here and in much of the rest of the world — will triple by 2030, to more than $800 billion annually. Throw in about $276 billion of what they call “real indirect costs,” like productivity, and you have over a trillion. Enough over, in fact, to make $38 billion in budget cuts seem like a rounding error.
Similarly, Type 2 diabetes is projected to cost us $500 billion a year come 2020, when half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Need I remind you that Type 2 diabetes is virtually entirely preventable? Ten billion dollars invested now might save a couple of hundred billion annually 10 years from now. And: hypertension, many cancers, diverticulitis and more are treated by a health care (better termed “disease care”) system that costs us about $2.3 trillion annually now — before costs double and triple.
To read the entire article click on this link: NY Times Opinion