Random Thoughts

Health Check = Longer life

The idegenous people of Okinawa tend to have one of the longest life expectancies of any group of people in the world. The Okinawa diet essentially reflects the general eating patterns of the Okinawan seniors.

In one study, Okinawan seniors were found to have 80% fewer cases of heart disease and 50% less cases of cancer than their American counterparts. There are more people over the age of 100 per 100,000 population than any place in the world.

The Okinawa diet is not a magic diet. There are no secrets. It is simply, a way of life. Researchers have been careful to note, it is not just about nutrition. Okinawans tend to be more physically active, doing what I call "just living". Like Islanders all over the world, Okinawans tend to be laid back and operate on a what is referred to as Unchina Time (Island Time). Okinawans tend to be fairly spiritual. Okinawan society is made up of many loosely defined social circles. Within the circle, people sincerely care and make an effort to support one another. Of course, all of this contributes to their well being.

Going through the mail I thought about one additional thing that contributes to the longevity of the Okinawans. The government makes a sincere effort to care for her citizens. Below is a request I received in the mail from my municipal government.

Essentially, it is a request to make an appointment to come for a yearly Cancer and Medical Health Check. On a computer in the Municipal Office I am on a data base organized by age. A ticket is sent out once a year to come for the appropriate age related health check. I choose Sunday afternoon for my health check. This Sunday my son will go for his health check. My son's health check and shots are all free. I believe I have to pay about 1000yen (10usd).

Last year I was too large to fit in the x-ray machine. It was an awkward moment for everyone. Possibly more awkward for the doctor and nurses, as they apologized profusely. I am looking forward to getting into the machine this year.

The purpose of the post is to point out the longevity of the Okinawan seniors, in a small way, is the result of a very caring government. They make a proactive attempt to provided health checks at almost zero costs to their citizens. Does your government, not only provide free, age appropriate health checks every year but take the effort to notify you by mail and allow you to come in on the weekend? It seems very civilized.

Have a nice day.

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