There are pink ribbons everywhere this month for breast cancer awareness. It’s politically correct for corporations to get behind this to be good corporate citizens and also to improve their bottom line. After all, many product purchases are controlled by women. So showing you care about what women care about is good business. But this year, more than ever, I am shaking my head with all the pink.
That’s because this “awareness” should be spread around. For all the women, more than 200,000 in the US, who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, there are many more who are affected by the complications of obesity – for example diabetes and heart disease. But do the corporations – and government – help put a focus on that as much? It’s not apparent to me. The same companies that nod to breast cancer awareness encourage you to do things like eat high calorie snack foods without ever encouraging you to take the stairs, go for walks or exercise at all. If only good health was a simple as wearing pink one month a year.
I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon but I know you’ll understand first that women affected by breast cancer think of it year round and that many women are affected by a host of other serious conditions that get too little attention. We need to balance that. Because health awareness does make a difference, it should just be about more than just breast cancer.
For example, in addition to knowing to get a mammogram, does that same woman know her cholesterol level, or her body mass index, or her blood pressure? Those are important too as we take more personal responsibility for our health. Caring about your health means learning about a variety of factors, for example the information covered in my program on the danger of stroke. It affects nearly 800,000 Americans each year. The man I interviewed ignored his high blood pressure and almost died. You can bet he is now much more attentive to his blood pressure numbers! Stroke: Risk Factors and Recovery can be found at http://goo.gl/6Lp4x
So when you see pink this month, make it a rainbow of color in your mind.