Diet | Nutrition

Is Obesity a Disease? What do YOU think?

Donuts Don't Grow On Trees (a music video by Barry David Butler)The American Medical Association (AMA) recently took up the question of whether obesity should be classified as a disease but deferred any decision to a later date. As noted in HBO’s The Weight of the Nation, obesity has now become the largest threat to the health, wellness and future survival of our nation. It’s an epidemic and one that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. But is it a disease? And what would it mean if we called it that? What do YOU think?

American Heritage Dictionary defines DISEASE as (1) an abnormal condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, inflammation, environmental factors, or genetic defect, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs, symptoms, or both AND (2) a condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.

Even doctors disagree. Read the rest of this entry »

Dramatic Change in the Causes of Death

photo image of Stephen C. Schimpff, MDby Stephen C Schimpff, MD

Most of us will not have the opportunity to just die of “old age” or to simply fall to sleep one night never to wake again. Most often, we develop an illness which causes our death. These have changed markedly over the years. For the pioneers, accidents, infections, childbirth were times and causes of great likelihood of death. A century ago, infections were the leading causes of death. Today, we will probably survive much longer than our ancestors but it is more likely we will die of heart disease, cancer or stroke. This is a dramatic change in the causes of death that has occurred over the years and with it is an equally dramatic change in the factors that predispose to those deaths.

Read the rest of this entry »

Donuts Don’t Grow On Trees (music video)

Donuts Don't Grow On Trees (a music video by Barry David Butler)space

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To promote healthy eating and address America’s Obesity Epidemic, health advocate Barry David Butler wrote a Pop Song called “DONUTS DON’T GROW ON TREES“.

The song is up on YouTube already, but I’m embedding it here to further promote it. If you like it, add your comments or use the social media links at the bottom to share with friends.

 

 

Song Lyrics:

Donuts don’t grow on trees;
don’t you wonder why.

Cause all the foods that are good for you
are given to us alive.

 

Living foods they give us life,
so we stay healthy and thin.

Keep away from foods that are dead.
Today… let’s begin

 

God created man,
and he gave us food to eat.

Eat it in its natural state,
and always eat whole wheat.

 

He gave us fingers to pick and eyes to see
and a nose to smell our food.

Living foods are easy to find.
They help us with our mood (chorus).

Fruit juice and soda can make us sick
if we drink it to excess.

Too much sugar can make us fat.
We need to eat it less.

 

We don’t drink enough pure water
and don’t get enough exercise.

We all need to get moving
so we stay a normal size. (chorus, repeat)

America’s Obesity Epidemic – a BIG Problem (UPDATED)

Fatty Food, from HBO's The Weight of the NationNow that all four episodes of The Weight of the Nation have aired on HBO, I’m updating this article with new information, important statistics, and embedded versions of the trailer and each episode.

Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese,  it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future survival of our nation. Obesity has become an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt America.

I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that premiered on Monday, May 14 to explore our uphill battle with obesity. If you prefer to watch on your TV or want to learn more, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)

The Trailer

Read the rest of this entry »

America’s Obesity Epidemic – a BIG Problem

Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese,  it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future of America. Obesity is an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt the nation.

I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that starts this campaign by exploring America’s uphill battle with obesity. The series premiers at 8pm central time on Monday, May 14. If you miss it and can’t find a repeat, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)

The Trailer

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Reform needs a WELLNESS emphasis

This intimate but tasteful photo of a man and wife in bed shows how Sex can be used to promote Health & Wellness.How can healthcare systems encourage patients to take greater ownership of their health so they live longer? That was the question posed to a Linkedin discussion group that generated some interesting responses. I initially weighed in with:

Public Health and Social Programs

We don’t often think of clean running water, indoor toilets, sanitation systems, and school vaccinations as having profound effects on the health of our citizens, but they have. So too would programs that address poverty, unemployment, and the widening income gap. That’s why next on my list is access to nutritious food, exercise opportunities, and full-time employment, which translates into access to health insurance.

Others said consumers would need support from various health care organizations and suggested several initiatives designed to move from medical response systems to health, wellness and prevention systems. Read the rest of this entry »

What do Patients Really Want?

Image from Wikipedia - "Drawing Hands" is a lithograph by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher first printed in January 1948. It depicts a sheet of paper out of which, from wrists that remain flat on the page, two hands rise, facing each other and in the paradoxical act of drawing one another into existence.What do Patients Really Want? PART 1

By Joseph Kvedar, MD

I recently wrote about an innovator’s dilemma of sorts – or call it a paradox – in healthcare.  The paradox is that as we look to innovate in healthcare, the very authority figures we must turn to for fact-checking our innovative ideas are conflicted and highly motivated to support the status quo.  I’m talking about physicians of course.

Dr Kvedar shares his view of what patients want from an out-patient physician’s perspective. See how closely his views match your own and then join the discussion below.

In a fee-for-service world, physicians are both the fountain of relevant knowledge and the source of all revenue.  So we have built our workflows, systems and processes around their comfort and success.  As physicians succeed, so does the rest of the healthcare juggernaut.  I know other industries fall victim to these kind of MC Escher-like business models, but it seems particularly acute in healthcare.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your doctor is overwhelmed, and you can help

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is featured in this 5:17 min video by ForbesAccording to Dr. Soon-Shiong, your doctor is overwhelmed and forced to specialize, just to keep up with the amount of published information from medical and scientific discovery. Just last year more new scientific information was created than in all of previous history combined.

What does that mean for us as patients? It means we must help them out and become a partner in our own health care. It means we must take a much more active role in maintaining our own wellness and understanding what’s going on with our bodies so we can together identify the most appropriate treatment plans for any ills and injuries. It also means we can help research new drugs, procedures, technologies, and preventive measures, even if we lack the medical training of a doctor. After all, we have much more at stake than they do and are more in touch with how we feel. It is, after all, our lives at stake.

The recorded interview below discusses healthcare reform and how to provide quality patient-centric health care from a cost standpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

A Totally New Healthcare System

KingOfTheWorldFive months ago I posted a challenge on Linkedin titled, “Innovative Ideas for a Totally New Healthcare System?” and it generated a discussion that’s been active for 5 months now with over 900 responses from different perspectives worldwide.

As a fun exercise to stimulate creative, out-of-box thinking, pretend you have all been appointed to the new World Health Commission by the new King of the World (or whatever title you prefer). You have absolute power to determine health strategy, for the whole world. Think like a child, and forget the constraints you’re used to dealing with as adults. There are no financial hurdles, no political worries, no cultural barriers, no legacy to contend with, no managers looking over your shoulders, and no imposed time frames. What is it that patients, providers and society seek from healthcare? Why can’t they get that now? Starting with a completely blank canvas, what would be the objectives of the new System? Imagine potential roadblocks and how we might overcome them.

The discussion has evolved, and most participants have come in and out of it, but Clifford Thornton posted one of the longest and most thoughtful replies and gave me permission to reprint it here.

A Totally New Healthcare System

By Clifford Thornton

Wow sir, a blank sheet; this is a dynamic exercise.

I came into the healthcare field about 9 years ago from a marketing strategy business background in the cable/telecommunication industry. Let me say that I cannot think or even imagine a bigger contrast in terms of quality of service, efficiencies, level of customer satisfaction, duplication of service levels, delivery, and range/availability of services.

Read the rest of this entry »

The “Experts” view of a Sustainable Healthcare System

image from foodincmovie.comAs reported in How Can Health IT Lead to a More Sustainable Health Care System?,

On October 28, 2011, the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) convened a small group of national experts—economists, actuaries, and health IT experts from the private sector and government—to discuss common approaches for understanding the financial impact of clinical interventions that make use of health IT.

I’m always interested in new ways to lower healthcare costs, but this article struck a nerve and caused me to post the following response, and I’m pleased that the moderator didn’t reject it.

Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk says:

No wonder health consumers lack confidence in government- or industry-led solutions to our healthcare problems and are forming an Occupy Healthcare movement. Convening a group of “national experts” (economists, actuaries, and health IT experts), without a much broader perspective that includes healthcare consumers themselves, is sure to ignore the many other issues affecting the health of our nation and the cost of delivering care. Read the rest of this entry »

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