Why didn’t I think of that!
Oh I did, Many of you may have too. But the funny thing is, Have you ever had a discussion with someone and like the next day. or week, the same topic hits the news cycle? Makes you wonder if you are clairvoyant or precognition. OK, let’s be real here. I have studied a lot about healthy eating, and wellness, and as they the oracle said to Neo, “you got the gift, but you’re not the One!“
Anyway, I just had this discussion with someone the other day. It was about how the country could not only save on health care costs, it would increase productivity and the nation’s GDP. The fact is after years as a corporate
health plan manager, and certification in health & wellness coaching, what do I know. Who would listen. Well now, it was just released that researchers have just calculated it out at Tufts University. And guess what… We could have…
Billions Saved in Healthcare Costs
That’s right. They say we (the nation) could save $100 billion in health care costs.
“Researchers at Tufts University made the case that subsidized fruits and vegetables could prevent millions of cases of chronic diseases. Roughly 70% of diseases in the U.S. are chronic and lifestyle-driven, according to the CDC, and nearly half of the population has one or more chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity, or cancer….
It’s an expensive issue: 86% of annual healthcare costs in the U.S. are driven by chronic disease. Meanwhile, U.S. healthcare expenditures tripled in the last 50 years, from 5% of gross domestic product in 1960 to 17.9% in 2016, according to the CDC.“
And that’s based on just eating more fruits and vegetables. Imagine if the nation would adopt the full spectrum of health & wellness activities. That would likely add up to double or triple that number.
So Why Don’t we Do What the Researchers Say?
Here is my guess…Human nature! Here is the problem:
- Most Doctors won’t prescribe fruits & vegetables…mine does.
- Most people don’t eat the minimum servings today how will they eat the prescribed amount?
- Big Pharma won’t allow it.
Supporting my opinion is the fact that today, “76% of traditional physician visits result in a prescription for a drug, adding another $3.3 trillion spent nationally on healthcare per year.” No incentive on buying fruits and vegetables is going to offset the years of entrainment today’s medical providers have received during medical school and during doctor office lunch & learns provided by pharmaceutical reps.
Even if doctors prescribed fruits and vegetables, with a 30% incentive to reduce costs, most people either won’t or don’t know how to eat even the minimum daily servings, no less amounts that could actually reduce the incidence of chronic illness, or eliminate their symptoms. It just takes too long. Most Americans are too impatient to invest the time it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.
Food Skills over Pills
Food, even the best fruits and vegetables, cannot “cure disease”. A diet rich in healthy whole fruit and vegetables feed the body with it needs to maintain and restore health. It is a lifestyle commitment before, during and after illness that takes time, skills beyond just the whole food. Chronic illness is best avoided when a healthy diet routine is paired with regular exercise, hydration, quality rest (or sleep) and avoidance or elimination of toxic exposure.
And finally the fact that “big pharma” is reported to have spent $25 million lobbying political leaders in 2017 alone, to maintain the status quo on the nations addiction with pharmacology symptom relief over prevention. Based on this, I don’t expect our political system will make any changes to the system that will magically turn off big pharma and turn on healthy lifestyles.
Big Pharma or Not, You Can Do it
What you need to learn is healthy lifestyle is a choice. Affordable and available today to almost everyone in the U.S. If you have studies statistics, you can understand the graphic above. Some people are earlier adopters, the rest follow in waves, with a small group that resists any change. However based on current health statistics, more and more Americans are not making the best choice and chronic illness rates rising. Too many of us would rather find someone, or something to blame for their own unhealthy choices and change their behavior. That’s right, they were born with unlucky genes, and Obamacare promised to pay for it, no matter what it costs everyone else.
Sources and Inspiration
“Prescribing fruits and veggies would save $100 billion in medical costs”, Rina Raphael, Fastcompany.
“Big Pharma Lobby Group Spends Record Amount…”, Bill Allison, Bloomberg.
Disclaimer: In fact, before starting any exercise, diet or wellness program, be sure you consult your doctor and be sure to learn the proper techniques for that diet before starting a new program. That would defeat the whole purpose of the activity and your injury may even increase your health insurance cost not reduce them. This post is intended to be for educational purposes only.