What’s the big problem with preaching healthy living?
Re: “A reminder to the healthy-living scolds: We all die someday,” Dec. 4 Teresa Keegan column.
Teresa Keegan’s message to healthyliving scolds is so wrong in so many ways. Most ignorant is its failure to recognize the well-understood social determinants of health. Poor health is no more a choice than is poverty. Dying young is not an irrelevancy, nor is living sick and disabled by disease. Arguing that health disparities are a matter of intransigence toward healthy habits, apparently more prevalent among poor people, is baseless. And most disturbing is Keegan’s question why the poor, sick from “sugary drinks, fatty foods, smoking cigarettes,” would want to live “a few more measly and likely miserable years.” For public health, what should we promote: reducing health disparities and improving the quality of people’s lives or welcoming early death? Steve Billig, Denver
Teresa Keegan’s cynical column has me wondering why she is encouraging us to abandon our efforts to live a healthy and energetic life. Instead she seems to say that we can go ahead and live as hedonists without heath care and environmental concerns.
Her message seems to be: We’re going to die from mental and physical deterioration. It’s inevitable whether we’re rich or poor. So go ahead indulge in your chocolates, booze, cigarettes and other comforts.
At age 86, I will continue to walk, use my stationary bike, watch my diet, read and do the puzzles in The Denver Post as long as I can. Hopefully being a responsible human being, I will help to keep down the expenses so that others may thrive too. Kate Krier, Lakewood