The new gospel of health
OVER the last two decades, the public has come to embrace the importance of the “healthy life style,” which is said to include a proper attention to diet, regular exercise, no smoking, and less alcohol. The healthy life style has even become a political movement, with tobacco opponents being the most aggressive. In the view of conservatives, the health activists are trying to create a “nanny” state, while the activists insist that they are simply practicing preventive medicine. But there is a deeper consequence to the efforts of health activists, one that neither they nor their opponents fully appreciate. The healthy life-style movement is setting the stage for a new explanation and justification for why people become ill and suffer.