“Food can be the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
This was a quote I read from a Yahoo article today dealing with the debate between calorie counting and quality food consumption. Research studies continue to attempt to prove the best method for weight management and overall health. These studies will NEVER successfully find THE METHOD because humans are all DIFFERENT. Does this mean that research in the area of weight management and health is a waste of time? No. It means our research needs to show OPTIONS that provide benefits so that individuals can determine which methods combined work best in their specific situation.
We like to believe in cause and effect. We like to think in term of A+B=C. This certainly simplifies matters, but commonly leads to failing attempts and conclusions. Diet is a classic example. Regardless of how many new diets are developed, weight management continues to be a growing problem. The problem is not based on a lack of science or insufficient quantity of diet plans; it’s based on:
increasing availability of inexpensive poor quality food choices
poor food choice selections in the households
educational system that lacks the willingness to take partake in a solution
doctors unwilling or unable to motivate patient participation
A NEW HEALTHCARE SYSTEM MORE INTERESTED IN PROVIDING ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE THAN TEACHING PEOPLE WHAT IT TAKES TO AVOID THE NEED FOR MEDICAL CARE.
To turn this situation around, we need a legitimate game plan. Two of the biggest problems facing a solution are parents and policy enforcement (local government.) Parents do not like to be told “how to raise their children.” I agree with and respect this sentiment completely up to the point where children face dangerous health risks as a result of this upbringing. I believe parents (at this point) need support and education (not threatening actions) to help overcome these dangers. Follow up doctor visits should be required to assess whether children are benefitting from this new supportive approach. This means that local government agencies will have to step up to make certain that parents are complying with mandated follow up visits. If everyone steps back and realizes the purpose is to protect the children and give them an opportunity they all deserve to grow up healthy, maybe defensive attitudes would be curtailed in favor of the bigger picture.
Doctors are the next problem that need “fixing.” They need to have job performance reviews based on patient outcomes. If they are unable to provide the assistance needed for the child and parent to obtain the results desired, they need to turn these patients over to different doctors. This will hold doctors to a higher level of accountability than they currently assume. It will no longer be acceptable for the doctor’s responsibility to end at conveying the message, “you or your child needs to lose weight.”
We need licensed nutritionists to play a bigger role. Doctors are not equipped with the proper education to advise the patient about nutritional needs. Nutritional referrals should increase dramatically. These nutritionists should establish classes for patients and their families to better equip everyone with the information needed to support a healthy lifestyle.
This new approach provides a “Team Effort” to address this devastating epidemic. It approaches it from a HEALTH perspective rather than a DISEASE perspective. We TEACH people what needs to be done rather than supply appetite suppressants that ignore the ROOT CAUSE. This approach will help UNITE people and communities and make them realize they matter. When people begin to value their own lives, change is possible.
It’s easy to identify problems in life. We feel better knowing these problems are experienced by others. However, we would feel even better overcoming these problems and becoming part of the solution. I am only willing to identify a problem if I can pose a possible solution. This article discusses options that can begin to transform this problem forever. Words, however, on a computer screen are not enough. Here is where I need your help.
Talk to your PTA’s and school administrators and request more nutritional education in your schools. Do not accept NO or NOT POSSIBLE as an answer. There must be changes to current policy.
Request mandatory physical education year round.
Talk with your doctors and request nutritional referrals if you need help.
Talk with your children and encourage healthy behavior.
Get the “junk” out of the house.
Form community support groups to nurture each other.
Look at yourself in the mirror and make a commitment to yourself AND your family regarding everyone’s health.
Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the “next person” to step up to the plate will result in more of the same outcome. How much pain, suffering and disease must our children be subjected to before we assume the responsibility we chose the day we enjoyed conception.