Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

It’s my birthday today. My 46th birthday. Pretty cool. There are so many people who hate the idea of getting older. I figure, there’s only one alternative to aging and I’m not quite ready for that yet. I’m much happier now with myself as I head towards my late 40s. I’m more comfortable in my own skin, so to speak. I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m happy with who I am. I couldn’t say that 20 years ago. I couldn’t even say that 10 years ago. I’m one of the lucky ones who finds life just keeps getting better and better the older I get.

As recent as one century ago, in 1900, the average life span of a newborn in North America was 47. That’s only one more year than I am – and I’m considered middle aged now. Of course, that change is because of our sanitation, access to health care and nutrition. If we look at the poorer countries of the world, their life expectancy is nowhere near ours.

And yet, it looks as if things may be changing here yet again – and not for the better. Recent news reports stated that the generation of children and teens now may be the first generation to not live as long as their parents, which goes against how things have been building up for generations before them. Why the change? The rising rates of obesity, the rising rates of illnesses like type 2 diabetes, lack of physical exercise and lifestyles that don’t promote better health.

I’m considered to be on the tail end of the baby boom. Born in 1961, sometimes that year isn’t even included in the baby boom years. Our generation has seen so much progress through science and technology. If our children start changing the tide – meaning having shorter life spans – then there’s something we need to do about it.

It really is frightening to see young people being diagnosed with diseases like type 2 diabetes. That shouldn’t happen except in rare cases. We have to stop living in a way that it’s everything to make us feel good and we have to learn that even though it makes us feel good, it doesn’t mean we have to do it. Or we don’t have to over do it.

I love a good cheesecake as much as the next person. Chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk is a wonderful snack. Chai tea is yummy. But, like everything else, they should be consumed in moderation. And that’s something that a lot of us haven’t quite figured out yet.

Today’s news:
N.S. mumps cases climb to more than 300
TV linked with poor diabetes control in kids

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