Our Obesity and Healthcare Epidemics: How They Go Hand in Hand
We all should know by now that we have a major obesity epidemic in this country. The best way to reverse this epidemic by controlling our weight and reducing our risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and vascular disease is by eating real, unprocessed food. Doctors, nutritionists, and other healthcare providers often advise patients to shop the periphery when in a grocery store. Why? Because that is where the real food is. That’s where the produce, the real dairy products, fish, chicken, and meats are. Now, not all of these are truly healthy products which is beyond the scope of this post, but you catch my drift. If you shop the aisles and try to read the nutrition facts you will see my point. For example here is the nutrition info for Cheerios with Protein:
This may seem healthy on the front but look on the back and see that there are 41 grams of total carbohydrates and 17 grams of sugar! Even more interesting to point out is why is sugar one of the few items that does not have a daily percentage value next to it? Hmmmm…..Obscure. And look at the number of ingredients listed- most of which can not even be pronounced. All in all….not good and certainly not healthy. Real food is always the better option.
It is also recommended to try to cook and eat as home a much as possible to help you get or stay healthy. I am by no means a master chef but based on my experience whenever I have tried to make some complex recipe with a lengthy list of ingredients it has turned into a complete inedible mess. Ask my wife about the spice-rubbed pork tenderloin from Epicurious I tried to make a few years back…god awful. Yet, every time we use a recipe from Cooking Light it comes out great. There are fewer ingredients and fewer steps for one to screw up. It is simple, healthy and usually quite delicious. I’ll leave the complex recipes and dishes to the master chefs.
Hopefully by now you can see how this is going to tie in to our Healthcare Epidemic. Our system has become so bloated and complex with way too many needless ingredients and cooks in the kitchen that we can’t get out of our own way. See the proof here as our own state of MA spends 40% of the budget on Healthcare at the expense of other important needs:
While we keep adding layers of red tape and bureaucracy, as well as continuing to allow third parties (government and insurers) to set quality measures, create networks (i.e. doctors and hospitals whom you can and can’t use), and set nontransparent prices, the doctor/patient relationship- you know… where the actual care and medicine takes place- will continue to suffer. You will have less access, longer wait times, less time with your doctor, and more visits to an Urgent Care clinic. Is that really what people want for their healthcare?
In conclusion, healthcare- especially primary care- does not have to be so expensive and complex if we just get rid of the wasteful ingredients. Let the patient, the actual consumer of the service/care, determine value and not a third party whose goal is profit and profit only. Let insurers be true insurers. Let government provide financial aid to those whom truly need it, but stop practicing medicine. Let the doctors practice medicine without layers of regulation and trust me, the bad ones will show themselves. In healthcare, just like with nutrition, the saying “less is more” could not be more appropriate. Just look at these these diagrams to see how DPC changes the recipe. *mic drop*