Never mind masks and vaccines, developing a strong immune system is the best way to combat the chances of contracting illness in the first place.

The recent outbreak of swine flu has been interesting. As we sit and wait to see if it becomes a full-blown pandemic (looking less likely, for now anyhow), the US and Irish governments have submitted financial aid for the development of a vaccine that will hopefully help combat the virus.

I’ve watched in amazement as none of these political leaders instead emphasise the importance of developing a strong immune system to combat the possible chances of catching swine flu in the first place.

Now I must state first and foremost that I am not an expert on swine flu, nor am I a qualified public health official or immunologist. Nonetheless, I have a brain, and I help people achieve health through the fundamentals of nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep and hygiene.

I suspect that, like the SARS outbreak a few years ago, and the flesh-eating bug scare a few years before that, that the whole thing is being exaggerated and I am sure certain pharmaceutical companies will make lots of money out of it.

I was never convinced that SARS was anything more than heavy flu, and as we all know, flu can be fatal for the very young, the elderly and the vulnerable.

It is more accurate to state that flu can be fatal for the vulnerable, end of story. So what makes us vulnerable? Is it exposure to germs, or the strength of our general health, the cleanliness of our blood, and our overall immunity?

You need to decide whether you believe it is the germs or the environment which play the key role here.

This was the basic difference between the fathers of immunology: Louis Pasteur, whose goal was to destroy the germ, and Antoine Beauchamp, who believed that a healthy body could be immune to harmful bacteria and viruses, and that only when cells became weak and ill could bacteria cause a destructive effect.

Mosquitoes do not create swamps but they are attracted to them.

If you let your body slide through lack of exercise and incorrect food choices you are creating an environment in which germs can flourish.

Few people know that Pasteur apparently said on his death bed that he had been wrong all his life, and Beauchamp had been right.

Personally I’m willing to believe in the possibility that both Beauchamp’s and Pasteur’s theories are equally important for a healthy life. But I don’t believe you will make a body healthy with a vaccination or medical drug while you neglect the other fundamentals.

An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure but where’s the money in that?
It is like the area of fat loss. There is a similar theme, no matter what the product: “It isn’t your fault you’re fat. We know you’ve tried everything, but you’re different. Your fat just isn’t like other people’s fat, and we understand that it won’t come off no matter what you do. We know there is a skinny person inside of you, and if you just eat our food or take this pill, you will lose pounds.”

The real health epidemic that’s being overlooked here is Humanitis Excusitis. If you are wearing it, you ate it; it is your fault and there are no excuses.

You did not eat anything by accident and looking at Crimewatch lately I have yet to come across the story of a man assaulted by doughnuts.

It is simple, if you eat too much and sit on your bum too long, the pounds will come on.

The only way to change your body and improve your health is to change your attitude. Accept the responsibility, take action, lose weight or improve your health. It’s simple but not sexy when it comes to marketing.

It is human nature to avoid ownership of a problem, while at the same time looking for the magic solution.

Magic will simply outsell work every time but you need to get back to the proven basics.

Move every day, eat more fresh and healthy food and start living a healthier lifestyle.

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