What’s an ounce of prevention worth today?

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. However, considering inflation and the cost-of-living-index, what is an ounce of prevention really worth today? After all, with the incredible advancements in science and medicine, there seems to be a cure for just about everything. “Better life though chemistry” …isn’t that the new saying for those living in the 21st century?

If you were born between 1946 and 1964 you’re a Baby-Boomer. In the year 2050, the average Baby-Boomer, who is still alive, will be at or over 100 years old. When that happens, there won’t be 70,000, or even 100,000 Centenarians. There will be approximately one million!

Eighty million Baby-Boomers have entered our healthcare system. All will live an average of 30-35 years longer than those who lived in America 100 years ago.

It’s the old good news-bad news. The good news? Due to modern medical advances, your body is going to last longer than you ever thought possible. The bad news? Due to modern medical advances, your body is going to last longer than you ever thought possible.

As George Santayana’s once said, “There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval.” As a health and fitness consultant for over 30 years, I have long stopped talking about the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, as it relates to adding years to one’s life. Most of those I lecture to and work with are not really concerned about living longer. I’ve found that most in their later years are not afraid of dying. They’re afraid of losing their independence.

Consequently, my primary focus in motivating people toward a healthier lifestyle, is all about helping them see the benefits of better maintaining their most valuable asset-their body. This safeguards their ability to enjoy the interval between birth and death. It’s a simple concept called prevention.

The quote-machine, and king of common sense, Yogi Berra, once said, “Predictions are very difficult, especially when you’re talking about the future.” Many years ago, Tomas Edison made the following prediction: “The doctors of the future will prescribe no medicine. Rather they will concern themselves with the maintenance of the body and prevention of disease.”

It obviously made perfectly good sense to Mr. Edison as he predicted the evolution of medicine and health care in America-He believed the intelligent approach to good health, would be to do everything possible to prevent potential health problems from ever occurring in the first place. Certainly, everyone knows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

But once again Yogi wins the day, and it’s a good thing Thomas Edison couldn’t play the Lottery! No prediction, that I’m aware of, has ever been further off the mark. Today in America, without question, the prescriptions written by most doctors, are for medicine, not prevention. The result of this uncommon sense? America is now the fattest industrialized nation on the planet, and the cost of health care is off the chart!

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