Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Change of Heart

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Change of Heart

Article excerpt

When I was in college in the early years of Reaganomics, business courses were proliferating and students were climbing over one another to get into them. One story that's stayed with me over the years happened to an old roommate. On the very first day of her very first business class, the professor gloomily announced: "Look at the person to your right. Look at the person to your left. By the end of the semester, one of the three of you will be gone." Those chilling words were enough to prevent me from ever considering a business class.

And yet today, as non-matriculated adults, we're faced with an even grimmer prospect. Look at the person to your right. Take a nice, long look, because according to statistics from the American Heart Association, one of the two of you will die of heart disease.

That number (it's actually 42 percent of all deaths) seems incredible, considering that it's been decades since researchers first discovered the link between cardiovascular disease and lifestyle factors like smoking, a lack of exercise, unmitigated stress and high cholesterol. We know what leads to heart disease and we know how to prevent it. So why do the numbers keep rising?

I think the problem is twofold, First, a lot of us are in denial. We're in denial about what we eat, and what we don't eat ("but I hate broccoli"); we're in denial about exercise (like walking to the kitchen for a brownie counts); and we're in denial about our bad habits (my favorite: "I only smoke when I drink"). We promise ourselves we'll stop, or start, at New Year's, on our birthday, when the kids are born, or move out. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.