Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Health Care Problem, continued

In spite of all the talk abut health care reform, few are identifying the real reasons why there is so much resistance to changing our system in which we spend enormous amount of money on "health" care while so few of us are genuinely healthy (without reliance on drugs!). A truly well nourished body has remarkable healing abilities, but the food industry makes lots of money supplying us with unhealthy, but profitable, processed foods stripped of essential nutrients and laced with unnatural additives. So the food industry would loose if we supported our health by eating natural, unprocessed nutritious foods to support our health. The drug industry, which makes enormous profits on our drug dependency, would lose if we maintained our health with real food, inexpensive herbs, and nutritional supplements. Hospitals would lose if we were healthy and rarely needed to go to the hospital. Conventional doctors, who have little real knowledge about nutrition, would lose, as we would rarely need medical care, instead visiting our local savvy nutritionist or naturopath for guidance in developing our individual nutritional path to vibrant health. Notice I did not say 'dietitian,' because as a dietitian myself I know that my training was heavily influenced by the food industry and biased against herbs and supplements - I had to learn that on my own after I retired, and I learned that some of the things I had been telling my patients, such as 'use margarine, not butter,' were just plain wrong - heavily influenced by the vegetable oil industry.

Why do most doctors know so little about nutrition? As I said before, our accreditation system was developed by in the early 20th century by Carnegie and Rockefeller, who had large vested interests in pharmaceuticals, so only medical schools teaching a pharmaceutical approach received accreditation.* The numerous schools that taught a nutritional approach had to close. Was this based on sound science? No! It was money speaking, and it still speaks today! What do we need to do? Break the monopoly that conventional medicine has in our illness care system. There is a growing list of doctors who have learned nutritional approaches on their own and are bringing true health and healing to their patients, at much lower cost, yet they are often reprimanded and ostracized for their unconventional ways of practicing. Recognize the value of those who are well trained in nutritional therapies. Pay doctors and nutritional therapist to keep us well without reliance on drugs, which treat symptoms, but rarely correct the underlying causes. Fund the research that demonstrates the efficacy of these therapies - drug companies sure don't want to do it! Give us all some incentives to stay well and develop truly healthy life styles and eating habits.

Likely to happen? Don't hold your breath. Some will complain about contributing to the recession because of all those lost jobs in the illness care industry!

* This information courtesy of THE LIBERATION DIET, by Kevin Brown, CPT, NC & Annette Presley, RD, LD, CPT, another reformed dietitian.

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