America is a 3rd world country when it comes to health and fitness. Just as in Sweden, I am blown away by the high fitness level of tge average person on the street in Austrslia. USA does not invest in recreational and exercise facilities for the public. In Australia it seems like every block is another public lap pool with fitness center. Beautiful and manicured parks everywhere for walking and sports. Get this too, FREE bathrooms on most corners – the nice self cleaning kind. You can actually stay properly hydrated without worrying about where to pee.
Making it easy for the population to keep fit is an excellent way to cut the nations medical costs and boost productivity. Why is it that in America we cant find money to water grass in parks, keep pools open, install bike lanes, or fund afterschool sports programs but have no trouble spending billions on obesity related healthcare costs?
Infortunately its the allmighty dollar. Big pharma keeps politicians from both sides of the aisle in their hip pocket with generous campaign contributions and a well funded lobbiest arm to weild their might. Unhealthy, obese people are a profit goldmine.
A perfect and absolutely crazy example of this is that big pharma is allowed to target ads for perscriotion meds directly to consumers. WTF, seriously! DOCTORS should examine a patient and decide the best treatment for them without being hounded by uninformed consumers demanding expensive and high profit drugs they saw ads for on TV. The American doctors job is hard enough without having their time wasted discussing expensive drugs insted of simply focusing on what the patient needs. IMO these drug ads targeted at consumers should be illegal. What is it about Americans that their first reaction is to take pills to fix their problem even if far healthier and far cheaper options exist – exercise and good nutrition for example.
Australia IS surf culture. Australia out-Californias California when it comes to a outdoors, health minded mentality. Australians incorporate motion into everyday life. Where “mobility carts” for the obese are commonplace in USA, I havent seen a single one here in Australia.
Now lets talk food. Smaller portion sizes in Australia. Not only that, restaurant foor, including fast food, is expensive. So expensive in fact that I ate out of grocery stores while doing my two week stay here. You know what was cheap? Nonfat milk and wheat-bix :) I ate a lot of both both.
So Americans, act locally. Washington wont fix this, you have to. Elect mayors and city councils who see the value of fitness. Heck, run for election yourself! Go to city council meetings and ask for afterschool sports programs. FIND ways to fund it, its the right long term decision for cost savings and quality of life.