With all the advances in science and copious amount of data, we should be quite knowledgeable about health. The Greeks documented human surgery 600 years ago, and there are hundreds of years of medical studies, trials, reports, research and analyses. We have the internet and instant access to information. Facts should be easy to glean. And myths, rumors and fiction easy to dispel.

Yet, we are getting less healthy. Obesity among adults increased from 33.7% in 2007-2008 to 39.6% in 2015-2016. A staggering 94 million adults in America are currently obese. Something is obviously awry and Dr. Bomi Joseph, director of Peak Health Center, Los Gatos, CA attributes it to the “Delay Problem.”

What Is The Delay Problem?

The Delay Problem is ill health caused by the delay between our action and its ensuing consequence. We fail to see the connection between our action and its negative consequence and so we repeat it over and over again.

Humans are geared to react to an event. If there is no event we do not react. When a negative event does eventually happen, it is often decades in the making and is often too late and too difficult to fix.

But I’m Currently Healthy!

Almost everyone overestimates their health. In a study conducted by Peak Health, 2,333 adults overestimated their health score by an average of 44.89%! People often confuse looks with health. Not everyone who looks athletic is healthy. Not everyone who doesn’t look athletic is unhealthy. People who are in the best of health can inexplicably be stricken by cancer.

It is important to consider your family’s genetic background even if you’re feeling fit and healthy. It’s always a good idea to check in with a doctor to get regular examinations. Dr. Bomi Joseph explains that this is just like checking on your bank account regularly to verify its health.

But I’ll Change My Lifestyle Before I Get Too Old!

Youth is wonderful. It is very forgiving and most young people are raging with energy and vitality. The habits developed while young, stay throughout your life. Our taste, food and lifestyle addictions are hard to change. Young folks who develop healthy habits find it very easy to maintain it. And youth who develop poor habits also find it very difficult to shake them off, because unhealthy habits are usually addicting.

But I Can Use A Quick-Fix!

People often approach Dr. Bomi Joseph for a pill or a quick fix. He compares this to a broke person who has poor credit, large debt, negative bank balance and no assets approaching a Goldman Sachs banker for a product that will make him millionaire in a week. Chances are that he is going to get thrown out of the office.

It is the same with health. There is no short-term fix for health. Yet the world is rife with gyms, doctors, companies, products, ads, nutritionists etc. who promise quick fixes to ill health. Why does a banker tell the truth while the “health” industry does not? There are two reasons for this.  First, there is often no way to measure health. It is easy to measure how much money is in your bank account. Second, “The Delay Problem” confounds people and they are not able to gauge whether their actions are having any long-term benefits. A banker cannot get away with subterfuge.

You are either on the healthy curve going up, or the unhealthy curve going down. There is no in-between. Most people are on the unhealthy curve going down. The good news, says Dr. Bomi Joseph, is that you can always reverse the trend by practicing consistent healthy habits. The obvious point being, the earlier you start healthy habits the greater the impact they are going to have.