In the age of modern pharmaceuticals and medical techniques it is often easy to just say “screw it” on lifestyle decisions with the impending potential surgery or lifetime on drugs being the only penance that one needs to make as an after effect. Yet, I think people do that more often at a sub-conscious than conscious level. People made lifestyle choices that ultimately ended in their early demise long before these advances came along. It’s therefore part of the human condition which has us concentrating on more immediate realities than far future potential ones.
All of that behavior though is really just pretending away an inconvenient disease. It’s uncomfortable to imagine that small decisions we make day after day could one day add up to a big calamity for ourselves decades from now. It’s not so unimaginable, considering the many cases of it that surround us every day. You can see it in outside the health related field as well. How many people actually pocket away the 15% of income that are needed to fund a retirement at 65-70 years old? That’s a simple math problem, not one clouded in seemingly contradictory study after study of “this is bad but this is not” yet still almost no one saves appropriately for retirement.
The illnesses, like retirement, will eventually come upon us whether we like it or not, or whether we choose to pretend they don’t exist or not. It sounds inconvenient to try to be proactive in addressing them, but to me the idea of chronic medication or major surgery to address these potentially avoidable things seems far more inconvenient.