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  • Writer's pictureRobin Rhine McDonald

Long Term Health Solutions We Won't Be Given

Some interesting articles have come out in the last few days. As I read them and begin looking into their implications, I can't help but ask - why isn't the United States doing more to improve long term health?

This past week, the state of Oaxaca, Mexico passed a law that prohibits the sale of junk food to minors.[1] It came as a response to the clear connections between obese and diabetic children and coronavirus deaths.

One official said, "We have to put a stop to the privileges of the few to prioritize children’s health. There is no place for economic interests above health,”.

Another interesting article that came out this week was a study on how boosting our immune systems can be a viable treatment for covid, and likely, a way of minimizing cases or its affect on individuals.[2]

In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 kids are obese or type 2 diabetic.

40% of US adults are obese, 10% are diabetic, and 33% are prediabetic.

Obesity and diabetes cause a reduction in immunity.

The good news is, both obesity and type 2 diabetes are lifestyle induced conditions that, in many cases, can be resolved within a 6-12 month time frame. I've seen this happen with my own clients. A1C's going from 11 down to 5, 30lbs dropped, and blood work that is dramatically improved. All of this was just from adjusting diet and lifestyle choices.

So, if we could potentially decrease this enormous population of at-risk individuals, why wouldn't we hear more about how to boost our immune system or how to cultivate health in our own bodies?

I found the comment from the Mexican health official above to be an interesting statement. She was actually responding to the business sector who had said that "prohibiting the sale of unhealthy foods to children would cause an “economic catastrophe” for Oaxaca. [1]

I decided to see what kind of economic affect a decrease in the sale of processed food and a decrease in diabetic patients would have on our country.

When you look at the top 10 companies in the United States, which top the charts?[3]

The number 1 is Walmart, a company not exactly known for distributing healthy living. What's most interesting, though, is that four of the top 10 are medical companies. The current medical system is set up such that most profit occurs when people are sick, not well. For them, it would seem advantageous to allow this underlying epidemic of lifestyle diseases to continue.

Now, in saying this, I wholeheartedly believe that the doctors, nurses, and staff of medical institutions and hospitals are there because they want to see people well. What I don't believe is that the business people who influence the system have public health as their top priority.

As a healthy young woman, I know that I am not adding many dollars to the pockets of the medical industry. If I had diabetes, on the other hand, I'd be paying over $16k in medical expenditures each year.[4]

Furthermore, the 6th biggest company in the United States is Berkshire Hathaway. This is a collective group that has vested interest in many of the fast food and processed food companies, one of which is Coca-Cola. For them, there is not much incentive to consider minimizing the purchase of unhealthy foods or soft drinks. This is particularly likely when considering that Coca-Cola's largest buyer is Mexico, and there have been many instances where Coca-Cola has sponsored "health" campaigns that focus on physical activity as the solution to obesity and diabetes, not diet. [5]

Why do I share this unfortunate news?

Because it's time we acknowledge that we will likely NOT be given the long term solutions we need to cultivate TRUE health in this country.

It is up to us, the every day people, to vote with our dollars. It's time we opt out the perpetuation of a food system that benefits from serving up diabetes and a medical system that benefits more from the sick than the healthy.

How can we do that?

Start with your health.

The food you buy and the food you choose NOT to buy because of it's negative impact makes a huge difference in your own health, your family's health, and the health of your community.

Wearing masks is a band-aid solution. Social distancing is a short term fix.

Do we want to be wearing masks, social distancing, and navigating an economic shut down for years to come?

Of course not.

So it makes sense, then, to look at the bigger picture and to consider how we can make big changes with simple choices in our every day life.

Here are a few to get your started:

  1. Shop for single ingredient foods (meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds)

  2. Shop for organic and local foods (farmer's markets and CSA boxes!)

  3. Cook your own meals

  4. Ditch soda (drink water)

If every person had been following those four simple habits the past 6 months, we'd be in a very different, much healthier, place as a nation.

Need support making those healthy changes? Schedule a call with me and lets talk about creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle through my 12 week course, The Sustainable Health Transformation.






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