Thursday, March 5

Your reactions/thoughts

Shevy called my attention to a post that was cited in Trent's round-up. Now I want to call your attention to it.

The actual post is here.

Trent's round-up piece is here.

I don't want to influence you by saying much about it. But I would appreciate you all taking the time to mosey on over and peruse both. Because I think both reflect an attitude that has created some controversy. As you'll see toward the end of both posts' comment sections.


Blogger Meg said...

The term "lifestyle disease" is a bit of a sticking point with me because it seems to imply that these diseases are entirely life choices -- though the author, Jennifer, did clarify that there are indeed other issues involved. However, it is very true that one's lifestyle choices do play a huge role in the risk of getting these diseases and the course of the diseases. And in that regard, "lifestyle diseases" isn't far off the mark.

Like Jennifer said, I think it is important to add up the real costs of these diseases. That can be a great motivation for improvement and can be used, like in her friend's case, to justify spending money on things that will help fight the diseases.

For example, when I go to the grocery store, I focus on buying healthy food -- not competing with other pf/frugality writers for who can spend the least amount of money on their grocery bill. I could have an ultra-low grocery bill, too, if I stocked up on discounted processed foods instead of fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are other costs that aren't on the grocery receipt.

Furthermore, I recently bought a treadmill. It wasn't cheap (and I couldn't find one I liked used), but the benefits will be wealth worth the investment so long as I continue using it. Likewise, one could justify a gym membership -- again, so long as it's used.

March 5, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Blogger Abby said...


I very much doubt the writer meant to come off that way. That's the power of the written word, I suppose. It can mean a whole host of things you didn't intend.

I think you're correct about the processed foods thing. It sometimes seems our waistlines' best bets are also our wallets' worst and vice versa.

And I do agree that, to a certain extent, lifestyle can absolutely have an impact on ailments -- to the point that some are actually caused purely by how you live.

I suppose part of what annoys me so much about the post overall is that it was a great point that got lost in some careless writing.

I've done it too. Such as the time a reader called me on a factual error about IRAs. I had written a pretty cut-and-dry piece about IRAs. But at the last minute I decided it needed more at the top about starting an IRA etc. So the top portion of the article was sloppy, not terribly informative and, as I came to find out, contained misinformation.

It happens to us all. But on such a loaded topic, I just wish people would be more careful. I guess it's kind of like older folks watching younger ones, thinking how careless they are with all their energy and such. But the younger people aren't grateful for it because, well, it's always been there. Similarly, healthy people generally have never been disabled. So they just don't realize what a quagmire they're creating/stepping into by even broaching the subject. At least without a little research.

All that said and done, I think it would be interesting to see a second post that was a little more in-depth about some of the conditions and how lifestyle exacerbates or ameliorates it.

I'm also interested to see if AnnJo takes me up on my offer.

March 5, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Blogger Meg said...

Agreed! Writers have a responsibility to write as clearly as possible. But, alas, we often miss the mark.

March 5, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Blogger Shevy said...

AnnJo's response in the comments on Jennifer's post left me even more speechless than I was before:

"To quit smoking, put out your cigarette. As long as you don’t light another, you’re a non-smoker. That’s how I did it 32 years ago.

A depressive in “deep, deep denial” is another term for . . . a happy person!"

My mind is boggling! I may comment more later but I've got to go take care of an unhappy little girl at the moment. (Two year olds really can't wait.)

March 5, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Blogger Naturally Frugal said...

I think that lots of people are incredibly ignorant when it comes to mental and hereditary diseases such as anxiety, alcoholism, and yes - even obesity. This was a sad post for me to read and in my mind was very poorly written in regards to getting the "real cost of healthcare" point across.
The majority of people who are afflicted with asthma, depression, alcoholism, and anxiety as well as a host of other diseases neither choose to carry on with them nor are they unaware that they can seek treatment from a variety of organizations and support groups. I speak from an emotional place after having dealt with my boyfriend's anxiety, asthma, depression, and alcoholism. He has been working on his anxiety his entire life and has seen a decrease in asthma attacks since getting older. Depression has come and gone, and yes most of that is due to lifestyle, but a good portion is due to genetics - his entire family suffers from drug abuse, alcoholism, and anxiety. These are powerful forces to overcome and the fight to turn a life around is extremely costly and draining.
I am surprised that Trent included this and honestly he has gone down a couple points in my eyes.

March 5, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Blogger Pushing30 said...

The author clearly doesn't know a thing about medicine or ailments because if they did, they would realize that it is highly offensive to call these conditions and diseases "lifestyle" related. I'm almost sad I read the article because it stirred up so much emotion. Asthma? Seriously? Depression and anxiety? High blood pressure? All of these conditions and diseases can be found in childhood...I won't go any further because I think you know my feelings on this one!!

March 5, 2009 at 9:06 PM


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