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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #019 -- America's healthcare system is designed to keep you sick
November 29, 2007
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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Week of December 2, 2007
Table of Contents
* America's Topsy-Turvy Healthcare System *
America's Topsy-Turvy Healthcare System
According to CNN (Cable Network News), up to 70 percent of America's healthcare costs are lifestyle related. Medical costs associated with America's ever-growing overweight population are $123 billion per year. In 2006, the United States spent a total of $2.2 trillion on healthcare in general!
These statistics are staggering! If you were to plot those numbers on a graph against time, you will see that they are steadily rising. It is a bleak picture indeed.
America's healthcare system is topsy-turvy. That's the reason for such obscene amounts of money being spent. It is such a system as this that encourages the escalation of sick Americans, and associated healthcare costs.
How does this existing system encourage sick Americans? America's healthcare system is built on a foundation of treatment. 'Treating' a disease rather then taking steps to prevent it, or attempting to cure it once it has developed, ensures that Americans will always have health issues.
Here's a classic example of America's healthcare paradigm. Joe Anybody has clogged arteries. Eventually his blood pressures rises as a direct result of his clogged arteries. Joe visits his doctor who immediately prescribes blood pressure medication to relieve his 'symptom' of blood pressure. In other words, the blood pressure is a direct result of Joe's clogged arteries.
Joe Anybody's arteries becomes more and more clogged. The blood pressure medication which was prescribed by his physician is no longer helping. Joe starts getting chest pains and begins experiencing shortness of breath. His physician now tells Joe that he needs a coronary by-pass, or angioplasty.
Poor Joe still has clogged arteries in other parts of his body. His pyhsician now prescribes Coumadin (trade name of Wayfarin, an anticoagulant) which stops his blood from clotting, and thins it.
All Joe's doctor has done is treat his symptoms. No effort was made to find out what caused Joe's arteries to clog in the first place. This is what aspiring doctors are taught in medical school. Look at their patient's symptoms, and then attempt to match the symptoms to a disease. Once that has been accomplished, prescribe the proper medication, or surgical procedure.
The poor patient then goes home, temporarily relieved of symptoms, and thinking the medical problem has been solved. Unknowingly Joe Anybody (the millions of Americans who experience this country's broken healthcare system on a daily basis) still has his problem-clogged arteries.
How would Joe Anybody's clogged arteries have been diagnosed with a healthcare system based on prevention and cure? First his doctor would have several nutrition courses under his belt. Only 25% of America's medical schools offer a mandatory course in nutrition. And of those that do, a doctor receives only about 3 hours of nutrition training out of his four years of medical study! The dean of admissions at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine admits, "...We teach people how to treat disease."
Instead of prescribing blood pressure medication, Joe's doctor would track down the reason for his patient's clogged arteries. Nutrition would probably be at the top of his list of possible suspects. America's standard diet strongly promotes clogged arteries. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
Joe Anybody is the average American. His diet is high in fat, sugar, sodium (salt), and artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives. He is overweight, and maybe even obese (BMI 30 or more.) And of course he doesn't exercise (See..)
The doctor would perhaps have Joe keep a food journal for one week. Joe would be instructed to write down everything he ate. Perhaps Joe's doctor would refer him to a nutritionist. Either way his dietary habits would have to change. In the meantime Joe's doctor would prescribe not pharmaceutical drugs, but natural alternatives to help lower his blood pressure.
A diet low in magnesium could lead to elevated blood pressure. 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient (See...) Healthy nutrients such as magnesium are absent because snack, fast, and junk foods crowd out whole grains, fruits, and vegetables (See...).
The cost of Joe Anybody's medical 'treatment' from a healthcare system founded on prevention would have been negligible. Costs would be associated with his doctor visit, and perhaps the natural supplements he may add to his diet to lower his blood pressure. There would be no substantial cost to revamp his diet. He would merely switch his junk food with whole foods (fruits, vegetables, etc.)
Compare these minor costs to the costs of a coronary by-pass operation, hospital stay, and several prescription drugs he would otherwise have to take. And this is not to mention lost work time, and the physical, mental, and emotional stress.
The prevent the disease paradigm doesn't exist in America's healthcare system. (It should more appropriately be referred to as America's 'sickcare' system. This system is based on 'treatment' and therefore is inherently flawed. It keeps you sick.) Not only does it keep you sick, it ruins you financially too. The only ones who benefit from this topsy-turvy system are the hospitals, and pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
Although Joe Anybody's medical insurance (if he has any) would have covered his coronary by-pass or angioplasty and hospital stay, it is still a cost that has to be paid. The cost for Joe's blood pressure medication and Wayfarin, and any other medication he may have to take, may be covered by a good insurance plan-or medicare. If not, it is a out-of-pocket expense that has to be paid (See...)
This topsy-turvy system is like getting a nail in your foot, and merely treating the symptoms of swelling, bleeding, and infection. The long-term solution for a nail in the foot is the removal of the nail-not leaving it in and instead trying to stop the bleeding, swelling, and infection. The long-term solution to clogged arteries is a healthy, natural, whole foods diet.
Since Joe Anybody's doctor has only been taught how to prescribe medication and treat physical injuries, he is ill-equipped to help poor Joe. His fate is a lifetime of prescription drugs, and worsening medical problems.
As mentioned earlier, the status quo benefits hospitals and pharmaceutical and insurance companies. They are quaranteed obscene profits based on the sufferings of millions of Joe Anybodys in America. This system is not likely to go away anytime in the near future.
America's topsy-turvy healthcare system is actually protected by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration- Read Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health. Order.) In addition, Big Pharma (the multi-national pharmaceutical companies) have highly paid lobbyists in Washington to ensure that it doesn't get changed.
You, however, don't have to support this corrupt system. By taking charge of your health you can dramatically reduce your risks of developing cancer, Alzheimer's disease, hypertension, heart disease, and dozens of other debilitating diseases. I am a prime example. I am not now, have never, and will never ever have to take any type of medication.
I don't even have to take aspirin for headaches because I don't get headaches or stomach aches, the flu, colds, etc., etc., etc. I am always energetic and get up at 5 AM four days a week to go to the gym to lift weights.
The key to a healthy body and longevity is maintenance. Like an automobile, if it is maintained it will give you years of quality service. To maintain the body you need to feed it quality food, and exercise it daily. The standard food of the typical American diet is toxic to your body-it is slow-acting poison.
Our food is saturated with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms and carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals.) This includes our meat, fish, water and produce. As a matter of fact, it is our food which creates the environment for clogged arteries, obesity, and the diseases related to obesity (See...)
And to compound the lack of quality food problem, exercise has been put on a shelf. Study after study has proven that exercise can reduce and even prevent cancer, obesity, and other diseases. Poor food choices and no exercise ravages the body-setting it up for disease.
It doesn't have to be this way. By replacing your non-organic meats and produce with organic meats and produce, you by-pass the health-destroying chemicals. And taking time to exercise further strengthens the body, and makes it virtually disease-proof.
By taking these simple steps like I have, you can avoid this country's topsy-turvy healthcare system. I'm sure you have better things to do with your money than to support multi-billion dollar food and pharaceutical companies, and a healthcare system intent on keeping you sick in order to keep them rich.
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The obesity crisis is global. Almost every nation is struggling with a population which is growing larger by the year.
Unfortunately this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, let alone decreasing. The percentage of Americans overweight in 1960 was 45 percent; in that same year, 13 percent were obese.
Fast forward to the 21st century. America’s overweight percentage is now 66 percent while approximately 33 percent are obese.
Obesity is a crisis because with rising body weight comes rising risk factors for chronic disease, and the development of disease itself. Certain cancers, heart disease, and even seemingly unlikely medical conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, and erectile dysfunction are directly or indirectly related to obesity.
Another name for type 2 diabetes is adult-onset diabetes. That’s because it used to affect mostly adults. Not any more. Rising obesity rates are afflicting children with this terrible disease. Overweight and obesity is expensive. It costs America about $123 billion per year. The average medical costs for an obese patient is approximately 25 to 35 percent greater than for a non-obese patient!
Childhood obesity statistics for America are appalling. Look at the data from the mid 1970s to 2003-2004:
Age Range Mid-1970s 2003-2004:
2 thru 5 5% 14%
6 thru 11 7% 19%
12 thru 19 5% 17%
Obesity rates in the 2 through 5 year old and 6 through 11 year old categories almost tripled! They more than tripled in the 12 through 19 year old group!
The global obesity crisis is causing people worldwide to change their lifestyles. Resorting to diets is a bandaide. Only a healthy lifestyle can cure obesity.
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You will also discover how America and the world reached this point. There is a reason for everything. After reading the reasons for our global obesity epidemic, you will better understand and appreciate the ‘cure.’
Obesity was not inevitable. It was however inevitable when food companies relied more and more on chemicals, and excessive processing.
But the global obesity crisis is a two-pronged problem. Along with food companies tinkering with food products, technology has given the world population more gadgets to distract us from physical activity. We have become excessively sedentary. We’re obsessed with text messaging and talking on cell phones, watching 24/7 cable/satellite television, surfing the web, and playing countless hours of video games.
There’s no more time to exercise. Stairs have become little more than ‘window dressing’ since hardly anyone uses them anymore. The automobile has become our major means of transportation–relegating walking to situations where it cannot be avoided.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (of FREE E-book)
1 Chapter One: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
9 Chapter Two: Drop Pounds by Changing Lifestyle
14 Chapter Three: The Weight Crisis
24 Chapter Four: Nutrition Makeover
43 Chapter Five: Exercise to Lose Weight
I hope that the information contained in this ezine was helpful. If you have any questions or comments concerning this week's topic(s), please go here...
Until next week...
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