Dr. Mark Hyman Articulately Cites Flaws in Our Health Care System, Comparing to Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"
Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm
One of the doctors I most admire, Mark Hyman, M.D. -- author of the bestseller Ultrametabolism : The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss -- recently sent me a fascinating e-mail, in which he points out some major flaws in our health care system. He draws some interesting comparisons to the Al Gore film now in theaters, "An Inconvenient Truth."
Normally, I don't quote at length from another person's e-mail or his blog, but I really think Dr. Hyman's remarks are so right on that it could be helpful to get you to thinking about these topics. The astute physician points out:
"Most of us believe that our country's healthcare system is designed to keep us healthy. In fact, it does just the opposite! Think about it. What fuels the health care economy? Sickness, not health. That's right."
Dr. Hyman then so accurately pronounces the following:
"All the stakeholders in industries that affect our health -- the pharmaceutical industry, the food producers, agribusiness, and the restaurant industries -- profit when people eat unhealthy food, exercise less, and are more stressed.They're making money off of your poor health.
"Take the drug companies. They cajole us into believing that we can live any harmful lifestyle -- and fix our health problems simply by taking a pill. Just look at that commercial that encourages you to eat unhealthy food because an antacid pill or two will ease the indigestion it gives you."
"Worse, our healthcare system is based on the outdated idea that disease should only be treated, not prevented. It's really disease-care, not healthcare!"
Dr. Hyman -- who, incidentally, was nice enough to give me an endorsement for my upcoming book, SUGAR SHOCK! -- then goes on to make the point that:
"Chronic disease has replaced infectious and acute illnesses as the leading cause of death in the world, both in developed and developing countries. In 2002, the leading chronic diseases, including heart disease (17 million), cancer (7 million), chronic lung diseases (4 million), and diabetes (1 million), caused 29 million deaths worldwide.
"And the tragic part is that these ailments can be prevented -- they're almost entirely attributable to lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco, and alcohol use."
Anyhow, Dr. Hyman makes a number of compelling observations, including the facts that we've been hearing a lot lately: That one billion people in the world are now overweight; that 300 million are obese; and that 1 in 3 children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.
Hurrah to Dr. Hyman for reminding us that "the science is clear. An overwhelming amount of research shows the role of lifestyle and diet in the prevention of major chronic diseases."