Why does it seem like the people who are in charge of our health are always the last to tell us the truth? (Unless, of course, you count their version of the truth–which is often anything but.)
Case in point: The American Heart Association (AHA) is only just now recommending that doctors start assessing their patients’ physical activity levels on a regular basis.
According to their latest scientific statement, exercise “should be considered a vital health measure that is tracked regularly over time.” Just like diabetes status, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight, and smoking status. (To name a few major heart risk factors.)
Well, what wonderful advice to offer! You know… after all these years.
The irresponsibility of the “powers that be” amazes me, quite frankly. And yet again, it seems as if I am the only one who is outraged by this slap in the face.
And why? I’ll tell you: It’s because people still support these organizations. And that includes patients, colleagues, and other like-minded associates of mine.
This is something I really want you to consider. Especially during this season of charity and giving, I urge you to think twice about where you send your checks.
Really, who hasn’t sent a donation to one of these awful organizations at one time or another? And that, unfortunately, is part of the problem. Because while they may do some good, they’re mostly just hypocritical money sponges.
Your hard earned cash would be better donated to organizations that actually use our money for good. Not simply to promote the agenda that they “won.”
When are we going to rebel? I mean, is anyone writing to their elected officials and calling for more support for preventive health measures?
No. The people have spoken–or not spoken, as the case may be. And the status quo is merely a reflection of our implicit consent.
And make no mistake. The AHA isn’t the only big health organization that’s mismanaging the power we’ve granted them.
Flu season is in full swing. And it has come to my attention that in some hospitals in the NYC area, any employee that chooses not to get the flu shot has to walk around with a badge prominently displayed and wear a mask during their entire time in the hospital.
It’s the public health equivalent of a scarlet letter. And it’s disgusting.
I mean really…why aren’t we calling the ACLU? Because this is an outrageous protocol. Especially when you consider its targets. Namely, doctors who didn’t want to get the flu vaccine because they know the risks and side effects. And who simply don’t think it’s worth it.
In other words, doctors like me.
Do you want to know the real statistics on the flu shot?
If you’re exposed to someone with the flu, and you’ve had the flu vaccine, you have a seven percent risk of catching it. (And that’s if–and only if–they got the strain right any given year.) If you didn’t get the flu shot? Well, then you have a 9 percent risk of becoming ill.
That’s right. We spend billions of dollars each year on the flu vaccine. All for a two percent risk reduction.
If the government is looking for ways to decrease spending, I’d suggest eliminating the annual marketing blitz for the flu shot. It would be a lot more effective–and certainly more compassionate–than limiting health care to people who need it.
Well, well. I really went off on a tangent this time, didn’t I? This rant started in one place and went somewhere entirely different. So I guess I’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to tear apart these new AHA recommendations.
And believe me, I have some choice words for these clowns. Stay tuned.
“Guide to the assessment of physical activity: clinical and research applications: a scientific statement from the american heart association.” Circulation. 2013 Nov 12;128(20):2259-79.
AHA Recommends Regularly Assessing Exercise Habits. Medscape. Oct 17, 2013.