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Taking Charge of Your Own Health Rewards -- #1

This last week I have read several articles that are asking a common question, sometimes directly as Dr. Newman does:

“Are we ready to stop ignoring science? If so, the road may be smoother than we imagined for there is, and has been, much truth to follow.”

He was writing in response to a newly published observational study showing that mammograms do not save lives—they did increase surgeries and treatment of early stage cancers. 

“It is affirming to see this newest study. But it raises an awkward question: why would a major medical journal publish an observational study about the effects of screening mammography years after randomized trials have answered the question? Perhaps it is because many doctors and patients continue to ignore the science on mammograms.”

David H. Newman, MD

How can we, as individuals, take action on what we already know to be true about being healthy?  E.g., exercise?  It’s been thoroughly demonstrated that people who exercise at least 30 minutes/day, 5 days a week have lower risks of many diseases from cancer to cardiac diseases to obesity.  Yet, most people don’t exercise.  How about the foods we eat?  How many people are eating vegetables, fruits as a mainstay of their diets?

There was another TED talk I watched, “Can we Eat to Starve Cancer?” done by Dr. William Li.  His presentation was about the foods that were powerful in their cancer prevention properties, specifically in their ability to inhibit the growth of the blood supplies to the tumors.  And, of course, high on the list of ‘good’ foods were the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage).  Do you eat broccoli or cabbage on a regular basis?

I think I’m a true behaviorist…the behaviors we have are there because they are or have been ‘rewarded’.  The question I’d like to pose to everyone is to think about how to reward yourself for your good health habits?  How to reward yourself for exercising?  We have so many behaviors that have been ‘there’ for so long, we don’t think about them anymore.  We know about vitamin D, yet we still have millions of people ignoring the science that’s been accumulating for over 30 years.  We can’t wait on external systems (the government, the healthcare system, etc.) to do this for us. 

Please send me your feedback on any reward(s) that you have put in place for yourself to help maintain healthy habits to carole at grassrootshealth.org and we’ll share them!  It’s up to us to make our own health.  I’ll generate a new post shortly about some techniques for ‘rewarding’ yourself as well!

I’m eager to hear from you!  Thanks for your participation.


Links to the articles referenced above are here:

Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?

Ignoring the Science on Mammograms

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