The Harvard School of Public Health’s website has this to say about disease prevention (2008):
“So although the risk of most chronic diseases can’t be totally eliminated, it can still be significantly reduced. If everyone in the United States led a healthy lifestyle, 80 percent of the cases of heart disease and diabetes could be avoided, as could 70 percent of the cases of stroke and over 50 percent of all cases of cancer.”1
I, and others, believe the cancer prevention rate is in fact better than “over 50%.”
The MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas states on their website that 30-40% of cancers can be prevented by making healthier food choices2, 30% of all deaths from cancer3 can be attributed to smoking, and exercise lowers your risk by 5% for many types of cancer4 (according to Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention5). This means at least 75% of ALL cancers may be prevented with a healthy lifestyle including proper diet, regular exercise, and not smoking.
Dr. Robert Eckel, in an article on the Dow Jones News Service titled “Cholesterol: The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown,” (2-17-11) said: “I have to emphasize that a healthy lifestyle is the number one step to reducing your risk of heart disease.”6
Good Health is Up to You
The bottom line is good health is up to you. You can prevent over 75% of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer simply by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your health is determined far more by your decisions, not your genes.
Huge, very rich companies are successfully betting that you will not take care of your own health. Unfortunately in our culture, you have to go out of your way and expend extra personal effort to be healthy. You have to avoid most fast food restaurants. You have to walk by much of what you see in a supermarket (the things your kids are screaming to have). You have to bring your reusable bags to the local farmer’s market, and work with whatever is delivered from your farmer, co-op or CSA. We work too much which cuts into valuable time for exercise and time to spend with family. Time pressures make it difficult for people under my chiropractic care to do the simple spinal exercises which take just a couple of minutes per day to do!
What should you do?
First, be aware that health is up to you. You must eat a clean diet, exercise, not smoke, get regular rest, and care for your spine.
Next, be aware that there are strong influences (huge, very rich companies) which are conditioning you to make unhealthy choices. Raise your awareness of these forces.
There are five simple steps you can start taking TODAY that will put you on track for a healthy life.
1. Eat more vegetables, stop eating processed food, avoid red meat.
2. Start exercising more frequently even if it is 15-20 minutes a day (which I consider a full workout).
3. Watch TV less (unless it is my show!) and sleep a little more.
4. Stop drinking soda, sport drinks, and energy drinks (especially diet drinks) and decrease caffeine; drink lots of water.
5. Go to a chiropractor for wellness and maintenance chiropractic care (even though insurance does not pay for wellness chiropractic care), and do daily spine exercises as described in my book “Happy Back” and on my youtube page.
5. Harvard Report on Cancer
Prevention, Volume 1: Causes of Human Cancer. Cancer Causes & Control,
Volume 7, Supplement 1, November 1996. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9091058