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Risk managment and opportunities for better health

Good afternoon!!!! I hope everyone has enjoyed this long holiday break and that you are staying healthy. I know at this time of year, we become stressed about overeating, overspending and overindulging in general. Well, take a deep breath and relax. We can get back on track and we are starting a new series on NLP or neurolinguistics and how to program our brains to make better choices. I spent many years in the business world and, more specifically, in the insurance world. I know why risk management is so important.

Managing risk begins with the identification of a known hazard. Hazards are items that increase the chances that something bad could happen. If we are eating a poor diet, the hazards associated with high fat, high sugar diets include risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. The first step to managing risk is identifying the hazards and finding ways to reduce their chances of creating bigger problems in the future. We practice risk management more often than we realize.

While I taught odds and odds ratios to graduate students, I simply provided the brain with a picture of a car. If the car is driving at a reasonable rate of speed and the weather is dry and sunny and the car is mechanically sound, then we have eliminated certain hazards that increase the likelihood of an accident. We have reduced the odds of something bad occurring and put the odds in our favor. The odds ratios are simply scales that measure how likely an event is to happen or not. For example, if I eat candy every day for a month, the odds increase substantially for me to develop extra weight. Over time, if I continue this bad habit, the scale of my developing diabetes tips in a negative direction. Odds ratios are what weather forecasters use to report the likelihood of severe weather as well. If you have a 2 in 5 chance of seeing a severe thunderstorm, then this means that you have 2 in 5 chance of being hit with a strong storm. The closer you get to the top number, the more likely you are to experience the event.

So, if we reduce hazards, such as eating high fat, high sugar diets, we manage the risk of developing a disease later in life. Now we cannot reduce completely all risks, because we may be genetically inclined to develop a serious health issue later in life if the disease is prevalent among a large number of our family members. If your mother, your grandmother, your great grandmother, your sister, your aunt and a cousin develop diabetes, then you have a much greater chance of developing diabetes as well. You can reduce hazards, but you may still not avoid the disease altogether. Simply put, we want to stack the odds in our favor as much as possible and increase the opportunities for better health and well-being later in life.

I hope everyone continues to self-reflect and review what changes you wish to make going forward. Remember, if you truly want to change, then you are setting your mind up for success. Also remember, that many great people in history may have needed to make a large number of attempts to reach success, but persistence will win out if you are willing to keep trying. As we go forward, look at the community page for more information on a variety of health and well-being subjects. We are diversifying and creating a true community of information to help in many areas and we would love to have you come along. Until tomorrow; stay focused, stay healthy, and stay hydrated.

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Melanie Meade

Ms. Meade has over 20 years in the business sector. Ms. Meade also has experience as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instruction, and as a psychology instructor. Ms. Meade is an avid fitness enthusiast and works hard to maintain healthy lifestyle practices.


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