We have all seen people exhibit flagrantly unhealthy behavior. Some of us–though we’d never admit it–derive a certain, smug satisfaction by observing them. At least I don’t do that!
Somewhere in the course of our daily lives though, most of us do exhibit behavior that suggests at least some disregard for our health. We don’t change our diet, though we know we should. We don’t floss, take medications as prescribed, or get the screening tests we’re supposed to.
Multiple intertwining causes underlie all unhealthy behavior, of course. I had always figured that one pervasive cause was the lack of a simple, observable connection between health-related behaviors and health outcomes. There is a long delay for example, between establishing unhealthy dietary preferences and the sequellae of that behavior (a heart attack, diabetes or whatever). The longer the delay between cause and effect, the more likely someone will be to exhibit unhealthy behavior.
On the other hand, if there’s a short interval between cause and effect—it only takes minutes for susceptible people to develop a severe allergic reaction after eating peanuts, for example—well, that’s where I’d expect high adherence to the required healthy behavior.
If I’m right, then we have a problem. For many chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, some cancers) Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Pizaazz*