The American Way of Life Need Not Be Hazardous to Your Health

The American Way of Life Need Not Be Hazardous to Your Health

The American Way of Life Need Not Be Hazardous to Your Health

The American Way of Life Need Not Be Hazardous to Your Health

Synopsis

In The American Way of Life Need Not Be Hazardous to Your Health, John Farquhar, M. D., Director of the Stanford Center for Disease Prevention, provides a truly effective program for stamping out the deeply rooted health habits that lead to heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, and cancer. By using Dr. Farquhar's simple and rewarding behavior modification techniques, readers can profile their habits and risk factors on such major health issues as smoking, nutrition, exercise, and stress; build a step-by-step commitment to change, whether it'sgiving up cigarettes or salt; construct a realistic action plan for the change; and maintain the action plan with success. Throughout this sensible guide, Farquhar clearly explains the rationale behind every step and provides a wealth of information on how the body works.

Excerpt

As I prepare the second edition of this book, the awareness of the need for prevention of non-infectious chronic diseases has reached an all-time high. Disease prevention has emerged in the 1980s as a greater national priority than ever before. the $50 million federal allotment in 1978, the date of the first edition of this book, rose to $3 billion in 1984, and many government organizations have become deeply involved in these efforts.

The recent efforts at partial repair, such as coronary artery bypass surgery constitute a pure growth industry: in 1971 only 10,000 such operations were performed; in 1977 there were about 70,000, and the figure has since climbed to over 170,000 each year, at a cost of over $2 billion a year. Unfortunately this procedure does not insure permanent health. Often the surgery must be repeated after a few years. Since 1980 another new growth industry has sprung up, "balloon angioplasty" a less expensive alternative to bypass grafts. Unfortunately, however, the narrowed artery now opened by the high pressure balloon has a strong tendency to close down again.

Given the cost and failure rate of these methods, it is inevitable that society will increasingly question the wisdom of total obeisance to the route of post-symptomatic repair. Ill health is not an isolated event; it is the result of an accumulation of abuses, each seemingly inconsequential. Eventually they take their toll. I believe that the individual has to accept responsibility for maintaining his or her own health. No one else can -- not a doctor, not a fleet of doctors. in . . .

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