Our government is continually telling us that we are unhealthy and die young because of our lifestyle. Never do they mention that the real cause of early death is poverty. What they don’t point out that being born into poverty means that you are predisposed to death from a wide range of diseases. A recent major study of 50 years of data covering Glasgow and Edinburgh showed that people in Glasgow die much younger than those in Edinburgh though the cause of death in both cities is roughly the same.
I’m not against a healthy lifestyle, but we have to realise that poverty is the real enemy. As we know, under this system of capitalism we still have children born into poverty and that very fact limits there life potential. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle shifts the blame from the system we live under onto the individual. Improving our lifestyle does not eradicate the real killer, poverty. By focusing on lifestyle it does however make the government look as if it is doing something about those who die young.
If we really want to do something about all those people predisposed to an early death by being born into poverty, then we have to change the system. A capitalist system of dog eat dog, winner takes all and to hell with the hindmost, is hardly likely to mean a decent life for all. We need a mass movement to bring about social change and eradicate the profit motive and replace it with a system of mutual aid, co-operation and sustainability.
In spite of the gloss, froth and plethora of brand name shops in our city, Glasgow has a large share of the poverty in this country, and eating bananas and going for a walk will not solve that problem.