Is the recession affecting your health? It can be extremely hard to stay balanced with so much news of gloom and doom everywhere. The poor state of the economy has everyone looking at extreme cost-cutting measures. Unfortunately many of these measures can directly impact a person’s health. It’s one thing when you give up little luxuries like expensive dinners or long vacations but many are having to make choices between making their mortgage payments on time, paying their gas & heating bills, meeting food costs and getting adequate health care. Faced with such difficult choices, one of the first things people begin to cut down on is taking care of their health.
Let’s take a look at the top four negative habits that people adopt which can have serious long-term consequences for their health.
1)Skimping On Food – It’s great to economize on your grocery bills as long as you and your family are eating healthy. Unfortunately many try to bring down their food costs by buying more processed foods in bulk. Most of these foods such as chips, refined grains, cheesy snacks, frozen dinners, processed meats are high in empty calories. These types of processed foods may contain lots of saturated fats, trans fats, high levels of sodium or sugar ultimately having little nutritional value. Studies have shown a six percent increase in obesity amongst adults when there’s a ten percent increase in poverty. At least a third of the adult population and sixteen percent of the children are already obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating in this fashion directly compounds the problem. You are skimping on food if you’ve let price become more important than food quality when you are out purchasing your groceries.
2)Cutting Down On Health Care – It’s alarming to consider the number of people who have put off visits to their doctor or dentist, aren’t taking their medications and postponing critical tests all in the name of reducing costs. This just gives time for pre-existing medical conditions to worsen and in extreme cases become chronic.
3)Cutting Down on Fitness – Have you canceled your gym membership recently? Dedicated gym rats, unused to exercising solo can completely let fitness go while rationalizing it as being a temporary measure. Yes, it is temporary, but how do you know when your situation will improve? What if it takes a couple of months or even a year before you feel justified in spending money on your membership?
4)Increased Alcohol/Cigarette/Fast Food Consumption – It’s sad to note that some of the industries that make a huge profit during a recession are those involving junk foods, hard liquor, wine, cigarettes etc. It’s easy to go in for eating discount family meals often at your local burger outlet or indulge in a smoke or drink when you are feeling stressed.
If you’ve been adopting one or more of these habits in your efforts to manage costs, you will be reducing expenses in the short-term but it can have very severe consequences on your health in the long run. You need to begin to look at ways to eat well, stay fit, get adequate health care and find healthier ways to de-stress as soon as possible. Think about it; the recession will end at some point but if you’ve lost your health in the interim, it can be an uphill battle to get healthy again.