Our failed health strategy | Inquirer News
Heart to Heart Talk

Our failed health strategy

/ 09:38 AM November 14, 2011

TODAY, our country and many others around the world are faced with the epidemic of arthritis, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Obviously, our health prevention strategy of more than half a century has failed in our race and battle against these diseases. While the world has succeeded significantly in the area of infectious diseases, eliminating the killer small pox, and to a great extent, polio, we are still lagging far behind in the race against those seven common illnesses enumerated above.


During the past six decades, medical science and technology have made mind-boggling diagnostic and therapeutic advances. Both pharmaceutical and surgical treatments of diseases have progressed significantly. More effective antibiotics and medications for various illnesses have been developed. Open heart surgery, angioplasty, brain and joint surgeries, conventional and endoscopic (minimally invasive techniques) have come to the forefront, saving and making lives more comfortable. This cutting-edge therapies include new and more effective chemotherapies with lesser side-effects, albeit still far from ideal.

In essence, the world’s state-of-the-art knowledge and ability to diagnose diseases and manage many of those illnesses are great strides we have gained during the post World War II period to the present.


But the stark reality today glaringly points to our massive failure as a global society in the vital area of disease prevention. Testament to this are the escalating statistics—the worsening incidence of those major diseases, their morbidity, complications, and death tolls. We have barely put a dent on them. Evidently, our conventional preventive strategy has not worked and diseases are way ahead of us in the race.

Is medical science to blame? Don’t we have enough scientific data in this exploding informational age to help guide us to the right path to health and longevity?

Lifestyle diseases (self-induced or self-inflicted illnesses) are the major killer diseases today. In general, except in impoverished nations who deserve our

compassion and help, we abuse ourselves with our abundance and blessings. We eat the wrong food, we overeat and simply loosen our belt, we neglect

physical and exercises, we indulge in unhealthy behavior and vices, like smoking, undisciplined alcohol

intake, and even unsafe sex.

Worse than what majority of us are doing to ourselves are the bad examples we are setting for our children, as I have pointed out in my new 800-page coffee-table health guide, entitled Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children. Anyone not positively contributing to the health and well-being of children under our care, for whatever reason, including love, is literally cutting short the life span of these youngsters and shortchanging them unfairly.


Unfortunately, the negative impact of our bad

examples as parents is so subtle and shows up late— when our children are already in their middle-age, where all these infirmities start bothering them, like arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer—that the deadly effects of our

unhealthy behavior on our children before they are born and as they are growing up are not immediately apparent.

Many of us shrug this off and rationalize “When they grow up, they will develop their own habits, behavior, and preferences.”

But we do not realize, as science has clearly shows, that the first five years in the life of children are the formative years, where “the dye is almost cast,” where their mindset, as influenced by what they learn from us, their parents and guardians, has taken roots, and has become a permanent part of their thinking, behavior, and choices in life. So, if we waited for them to grow up, it would be a bit too late to iron out the kinks they learned from us, adults.

The proper timing for gifting our children healthy lifestyle starts before they are conceived, when they are in the womb, when they get in the crib, and at least during their first five years and teen years. Doing this will ensure that we maximize the protection of their DNA and immune system, starting healthy lifestyle from the cellular level, or from what I call “Ground

Zero” in my new book, to effectively reduce their risk for acquiring arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, stroke and even cancer when they reach their middle age and beyond.

Unfortunately, many seemed to have discounted convincing scientific evidences showing we can chart the course of our own health destiny to a significant extent. As a consequence, they have surrendered to their “fate” (que sera, sera), which they feel is beyond their control. In essence, they have unwittingly

programmed their mindset to a casual, careless, self-destruct, slow-suicide mode. They simply accept whatever happens and seek treatment of the diseases when they occur, instead of preventing them in the first place.

The incidence, complications, and death rates from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other illnesses are escalating to epidemic proportion. And this is unfortunate, because, to a great extent, these diseases are, believe it or not, mostly preventable!

Trite and corny, perhaps, but the adage by Ben Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” rings truer and louder when it comes to health, and well-being, and illnesses, especially those that kill. Indeed, no medical treatment is more effective than prevention of diseases.

However, I would like to underscore the fact that the timing of prevention is of utmost importance, which is the main theme of my book.

Our past and current strategy has failed miserably as present day medical statistics show. Common sense tells us we, as a society and as individuals, are doing something wrong in our race against diseases. We are Johnny-come-lately in this battle. We have been joining the race a bit late, when the integrity of our DNAs have already been damaged after years of self-abuse. The race begins at the starting line and not in the middle.

There is a serious need for society as a whole to

re-evaluate our failed strategy and put emphasis on early prevention by being pro-active and pre-emptive in the way we deal with health and longevity, otherwise the future generations are doomed as we are.

While it is never too late for any of us, at any age, to start disease prevention or amelioration, through healthier lifestyle, we can save our young children and grandchildren from the ravages of preventable illnesses we ourselves have acquired through negligence and carelessness, by implementing the timely intervention before conception of the child, when in the crib, and all through its teenage years.

I strongly propose we start at “Ground Zero.”

For more information, please visit  philipSchua.com

Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Diseases, Health, illnesses, Lifestyle, Medical science
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.