Only one in three people in the United States say their doctor advised them to start exercising or continue doing so during an office visit over the course of a year, a new government study shows.
This startling fact is courtesy of a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times. It amazes me that medical professionals, regardless of whether they think the patient will follow through, are not suggesting that patients begin or continue exercising.
The abundance of evidence in favor of exercising daily is so overwhelming that it seems to be a no-brainer to me. After finally watching Forks Over Knives last night, the above fact rattled me even more. It seems that so many Americans just can’t be bothered to change their diet or exercise and would rather just pop pills to manage their medical conditions.
When I worked for Pfizer, I sold Lipitor for several years–at the time the number 1 most prescribed drug in the country. When I would speak to physicians, they would often say that their first piece of advice to patients with high cholesterol was to modify their lifestyle. However, patients rarely changed their diet and exercise habits and felt that it was easier to take prescription drugs every day. Does that mean we should stop advising them to do so??
We have to start realizing what this is costing our society, not only in terms of dollars, but years off of people’s lives. It saddens me that my children’s generation may be the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. As parents and as a society, we need to start taking accountability for our health.
Are you surprised that only 1 in 3 patients stated that their doctor advised them to start or continue exercising? What are you thoughts on improving the health of future generations?