You’re the one

“Down the decades every year, summer leaves and my birthday’s here and all my friends stand up and cheer and say man … you’re old.”—Paul Simon

from Old

It was around this time last year that I grew astounded by the facts about health and aging. In preparation for a story I was writing about the “anti-aging” movement, I discovered that we members of the largest population ever to begin reaching maturity at one time (the baby boomers) were starting to pay attention—close attention—to the fact that we were getting old.

Why? Because we could still do something about it.

We couldn’t stop the aging process, of course, but we could take steps to control the manner in which we aged. Trouble is, knowledge doesn’t always bring about change. We all know that regular, vigorous exercise is the best thing you can do to acquire and maintain good health, yet four out of five of us remain sedentary. We know that massive health benefits accrue from a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole-grains, yet many of us ignore this advice until we’re at heart attack’s door. We know that smoking kills, but tobacco sales soar.

In this week’s Health 2001 cover package, we explore this paradox with a love/hate health tale from longtime SN&R contributor R.V. Scheide. Don’t miss his compelling story beginning on page 16.

And as for who ultimately controls your health and aging decisions for 2001? Make no mistake. Paul Simon comes to mind again: “You’re the one.”