Sunday, March 14, 2010

Advance Info From Healthy People 2010

Health & Human Services establish health and disease prevention goals every decade in a program called the Healthy People Project.  Although the next report isn't due until 2011; early reports suggest that the Healthy People Project goals are down 41 percent from the last decade.

In the area of nutrition, the percentage of people consuming the recommended servings of vegetables and grains per day has ranged from 4 to 11 percent during the past 9 years, well short of the 2010 50 percent target. In 2000, 25 percent of the population was obese. The HHS goal was to lower that number to 15 percent by 2010. The report suggests that the number of obese US citizens has actually increased to 34 percent.

Given that excess weight and improper nutrition increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes and eye disease, just to name a few, our government disease prevention messages don't seem to be getting to the public, or a large portion of the medical community.

It doesn't help when doctors refuse to discuss weight issues with their patients because it's uncomfortable for the doctor.  Nor, does it help when doctors tell their patients that they can get all the nutrients they need from their diets, since over 90 percent of the patients they see in their practices are nutrient deficient, 34 percent are obese and 65 percent are overweight -  if the HHS numbers are right.

Adequate nutrition has, sadly, become a major societal and economic issue.  High-profit, nutrient-empty high-calorie junk food, which is more often than not subsidized by our government, is relatively inexpensive and the most, or only food affordable to a large percentage of our population who have families to feed on low incomes.

The enormous healthcare costs associated with low-cost, nutrient-deficient fast and center-of-the-supermarket food should concern the tax paying public, and certainly the mainstream medical profession.