Disease as a Function of Moral Decay

April 25th, 2007

The Washington Post published an article that dispels the myth of our modern age.  If we are so advanced, why is the health of our population declining rather than improving?  Perhaps the  length of life has been extended but the early onset of multiple and serious conditions indicate we are merely living longer with disease that should be preventable. Here is a snippet of the article. My letter to the editor is below it:

Baby Boomers Appear to Be Less Healthy Than Parents
By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 20, 2007

As the first wave of baby boomers edges toward retirement, a growing body of evidence suggests that they may be the first generation to enter their golden years in worse health than their parents. While not definitive, the data sketch a startlingly different picture than the popular image of health-obsessed workout fanatics who know their antioxidants from their trans fats and look 10 years younger than their age.

Boomers are healthier in some important ways — they are much less likely to smoke, for example — but large surveys are consistently finding that they tend to describe themselves as less hale and hearty than their forebears did at the same age. They are more likely to report difficulty climbing stairs, getting up from a chair and doing other routine activities, as well as more chronic problems such as high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

To the Editor,

Let’s remember a basic fact about baby boomers. We are the first generation exposed from conception to: pesticides; fluoridated water; construction materials laced with formaldehyde and corrosive solvents; personal care products replete with petrochemicals; phenols and alcohol esters; and highly processed foods, adulterated with additives that serve no nutritional purpose.

Record numbers of young persons are developing auto-immune ailments, degenerative neurological conditions, pre-senile dementia, endocrine disorders and respiratory/cardiac diseases that are not solely attributable to ‘life-style’ issues. Many diseases, including cancer, are the result of chronic inflammation induced by environmental contaminants. Rates of asthma (20+ million) and allergies (40+ million) among Americans are a scourge. Consumer spending on drugs (80 billion dollars annually) is approximately equal to the cost of dealing with the adverse effects of drugs. Biological diversity doesn’t mesh well with pharmacological uniformity.

Industry markets products without disclosing toxic ingredients on the labels, severely restricting our ability to simplify our ‘chemically laden’ lives. They are also the sole parties responsible for assessing the safety of our ‘mystery products’.  Even the EPA lied about the state of the NYC air quality after 9/11 for the sake of tourism.  How then can we expect corporations to tell us the truth about their ‘bottom line’ products?

Our educational foundation in basic biochemistry is sorely lacking.  Personally, I think classes in critical thinking and ethics might be even more effective in attaining better health for the masses.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: Letters, Washington Post

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