I have to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield for their most recent public message ads.
I was in a seminar earlier this week and we were discussing the new ads. There happened to be a BCBS employee in the seminar and she shared how controversial those ads have been. Comments on their YouTube channel are mostly in the negative, telling them that they don't like the ads, they are hurtful, rude, etc.
These same ads have more views and hits than any of their previous public health messages, so they aren't backing down. They've struck a chord, and I think it's a good one.
Here's the thing, folks: For the first time in American history, the generation being raised today is expected to have a lower life expectancy than the generation raising them. We've made incredible advances in medicine, are curing cancers at higher rates than ever before, and know what chemicals can cause cancer and have regulated the most harmful ones out of our food and environment.
We have incredible health screening and know more today about what to look for in blood tests, MRIs, or whatever screening a doctor orders to get to the root of a health problem.
But because 1 in 3 children and adolescents are considered overweight, all those advances won't matter.
Listen to the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society or any of these incredible nonprofits who have been working diligently to fund research for their various causes. They all have one criteria in common that will impact people's chances of getting the disease they are working so hard to eradicate. That one criteria is weight.
People who are overweight are at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, disorders of the endocrine, gastrointestinal system, you name it, the risks are higher.
Yet people are offended if a doctor mentions his or her weight during a regular check-up. Advocacy groups like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance work on behalf of overweight people to gain acceptance in society, to be accepted for who they are and how they look. I'm all for not discriminating based on a person's weight, but that doesn't mean the person has to accept that weight as his or her fate.
What does this mean to the next generation? All I know is that the worst loss a person can suffer is the loss of a child. Our children are supposed to live beyond us, and a great many of us will be burying our children because of this epidemic.
Thank you, BCBS, for bringing this to our attention. Now let's get to work.