Exercise General Medicine Health Care Healthy Living

Are we heading to a “Wall-E” situation?

So much to write about on Friday.  An email from a friend, another master of the obvious, on the the happiest states, an email form ACC on holding doctors accountable for medical errors, as well as an AHA statistical report on the worsening lifestyle habits of Americans.  These comment-able stories, along with this bloggers quest to finish HDT’s Walden, all took a back seat to Christmas preparations.   Say it isn’t so!  Yes, rather than sending our parents the usual gift certificate, Will and I decided to create our own gift.   As most know, creating takes much more labor.  Since the family are occasional readers that is all that can be said.

Despite the pressure of creation yesterday there was time to get on the rodent wheel, that is the indoor trainer.  After a 10 day break from riding, with a Pandora equipped iphone, the sensations of the pedals sooth the body and soul.  The comment from the overweight root canal assistant, “I just wished I liked to sweat” is so hard for this author to comprehend.

This week’s most striking health news comes form the yet to be released Circulation, stating that 60% of adults surveyed reported no activity enough to increase heart rate or induce sweating in the past year.  None!  In an entire year.  This is so depressing.   Worse yet: one in ten children our obese and 70% of obese children develop adult obesity, 50% of Americans are not receiving therapy to reduce their cholesterol and last year 33% percent more CV procedures were done, a 5.6% increase.

Interestingly, with the 500 billion spent in cardiovascular procedures last year, the mortality rate from heart disease continues to decrease.  That is right, thanks to the technology of treatment, more are surviving despite horrible lifestyle choices.  An upcoming collision between between the increasingly ill American population who increasingly will need procedures and the impending decrease in benefits to consumers and doctors seems unavoidable.

Those three 950 dollar root canals, avoidable with proper prevention strategies keep coming to mind as a possible incentive to the inactive Americans whose cardiac procedures are paid for by others.

6 out of 10 did zero exercise last year!  What else comes to mind?  The disney movie Wall-E’s depiction of the inactive humans on the mother ship.

Kyle Smith of the New York Post, wrote that by depicting future humans as “a flabby mass of peabrained idiots who are literally too fat to walk”, WALL-E was darker and more cynical than any major Disney feature film he could recall. He compared the humans to the patrons of Disney’s Parks and Resorts, adding, “I’m also not sure I’ve ever seen a major corporation spend so much money to issue an insult to its customers.”

“Doctor, I hate exercise.”  

Dealing with this commonly heard proclamation, plus improving the ability to moderate intake of widely available calorie rich food is the holy grail of improving cardiovascular outcomes and reducing costs.  Will, or could the statement ever become “hey Doc, I hated exercise, but it is so expensive not to, that I learned to like it.” 

Our challenge continues.


Breathe hard.


Enjoy heart health.


2 replies on “Are we heading to a “Wall-E” situation?”

I hope we're not headed for a Wall-E future, Dr. John, but it sure looks that way. As one of those Americans who, until recently, did no exercise to speak of and in fact avoided it, I do understand your worry and your bewilderment. What finally got me moving, literally, was having my PCP tell me that my blood sugar was up in the pre-diabetic range, and that, along with my excess weight, my body shape and my age, made me a prime candidate for metabolic syndrome. Then she explained all the miseries I could look forward to. That, combined with my re-awakening rheumatoid arthritis, scared the dickens out of me. And so I made some big changes.

I still don't LIKE exercising much, though I enjoy walking. I'm unemployed at the moment, so I have a lot of time on my hands for exercise, but once I'm working again, I'm worried that I'll have trouble again. One of the reasons I didn't exercise before (besides not liking it much) was that I'd either have to get up ultra early and do it before work, or stay out after work. Then there was the expense involved in a gym.

We can always come up with excuses, I guess. But this time, I'll find a way to keep it up. I've no interest in spending the second half of my life sick and miserable.

Thanks for another good post.

I'm looking forward to racing my hoverchair. I hope Zipp will make go-fast parts for them.


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