Have you noticed how many new ways there are to outsource your life?
Among dozens of new services springing up are "Birthday Party Planners," "Rent-a-Dads," "Life Coaches" and "Wantologists." The latter is someone who helps you figure out what you want and how to get it. But what if what you want is less outsourcing and more self-reliance?
The good news is that there is a strong health trend line going in the right direction. More and more of us are less and less likely to automatically outsource our health needs. In fact, Pew Internet surveys indicate that 45 percent of us were searching online for health info in 2002. In 2008 that percentage increased to 60 percent. In 2011, it was 80 percent.
Why is this good news? Because taking greater responsibility for determining our own health needs and finding our own solutions can yield some very positive results... and some big savings.
Weight control is a good example. The Center for Disease Control tells us:
"During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Direct health costs attributable to obesity have been estimated at $52 billion in 1995 and $75 billion in 2003."
MSNBC recently put today's figure at $190 billion.
The CDC also tells us that obesity is preventable; and therefore so are the costs associated with it. But how? A quick online search reveals lots of winning strategies. Most of them are inexpensive. Some of them are free.
A great example is My Journey of Real Life Weight Loss by Connie Pierce. The book describes her 180 pound weight loss. In her own words:
In order for me to successfully lose weight and maintain weight loss, I had to understand food’s place in my life and learn that my strength and dominion come from my spiritual groundedness. This is when it is important to dig deep and learn more of who we are and that we aren’t alone or without help.
Connie's journey from out of control to under control did not involve expensive therapies, drugs, outsourced diets or massive interventions. What it did take was spiritual realignment of her self concept. In her blog, Connie tells us:
In Oprah’s latest magazine, she has an article about obesity and it confirmed what I feel. She said, "Being overweight is a spiritual issue. And spiritual growth is required to overcome it. This is a truth I have learned through public trial and error."
Obesity is a visually obvious national health care challenge. The less obvious solution to obesity, and other large-scale health challenges, just may be our growing ability to look for and find proven everyday solutions online. Searching for and finding our own health care solutions rather than always outsourcing them has tremendous value for us... and for our neighbors.