Taking charge of your health: The challenges of reliable information and knowledge acquisition.
In 2012, an extensive (over a hundred pages) report by the National Institute of Health (NIH) - (A part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is the largest biomedical research agency in the world), assert that inactivity/lack of exercise is the major primary cause of most chronic diseases. The problem with such assertions is that such information form the basis of health policy and health strategies formulations which impacts on peoples’ lives in many parts of the world.
The big questions then are: Are these assertions correct? Where is the hard science that supports these assertions ( the pathobiology, pathophysiology, pathobiochemistry)? What it means to say that lack of exercise/inactivity is a major primary cause of many chronic diseases means that for any of those implicated chronic diseases, lack of exercise/inactivity should be present for initiation of the disease. Getting rid of lack of exercise/inactivity by regular exercising or some form of physical activity should be able to eradicate related chronic diseases. Does this argument hold? I don’t think so.
I view the assertions provided in this report of lack of exercise /inactivity as a major cause of chronic diseases, as outright wrong. The information provided in this report would not be of much help to the health care consumer. Unfortunately, this is the kind of information that frequently guides health care advice for consumers by the mainstream medical or health care providers. I would however agree with part of the claim mentioned in the report, that avoiding lack of exercise/inactivity by conducting moderate physical exercise/activity plays a role as part of chronic disease preventive strategy.
We should be able to be mindful of the notion that, in taking charge of our own health, gone are the old days where we grew up with the idea that the doctor/physician knows best and knows everything, and we need to follow their orders or advice without questioning. Today, within the context of taking charge of your health, there is need to do your research in order to be an informed health care consumer who is able to choose the appropriate medical/health care provider of a partnership relationship that meets agreed, desired medical/health care needs.