Think About It: Health and Happiness - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 17, 2015

Think About It: Health and Happiness

You probably saw last week that Hawai`i is once again listed as the healthiest state in the country according to the United Health Foundation's annual report. Along with that bit of news came the good news that most of the states improved in the 42 categories that make up this survey. However, smoking, lack of activity, eating habits and the obvious obesity issues that often result from egregious poor eating choices still cost far too many of us our daily health, happiness, and possibly financial well-being.

Smoking rate nationally are down to 18% of adults; that number is down 39% in the past 25-years, but it still means that almost one in five adults still poison themselves with addictive nicotine. It's a drug, ban it. Reports of people nationally who partake of almost no physical activity is at 23%, which is down 11% from previous reports, but still means that a quarter of us spend far too much time… shall we say… "relaxing". A key to good health would simply be to give up the butts and get off our butts… but of course, it's not that simple.

So where can Hawai`i improve? We have a high prevalence of excessive drinking, a high incidence of Salmonella, and low immunization rates among keiki for the vital tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccination. In the past two years, our diabetes rate here increased from 8% to 10% of all adults and our children in poverty rate has gone up 32% over the past 20-years- not good. Work to do, things that we can control. As 19th century English Prime Minister Edward Smith-Stanley once said, "Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness." Think about it…

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