The costs of healthcare continue to rise. The reasons why should be pretty obvious by now. So much focus has been on what we eat and how this thing we do at least three times a day directly contributes to good health or to illness. Disruptive, painful, expensive illness.
In the United States, there are over three-quarters of a million strokes every year — making stroke the fourth leading cause of death. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham concludes it’s about what and how we eat. According to Carina Storrs, it was a big study:
The team conducted a nationwide survey of more than 20,000 white and black adults aged 45 and up and identified five common dietary patterns. They kept in touch with the participants over the next six to 10 years to find out which ones had a stroke.
The people who said they ate foods such as fried chicken and fried potatoes, processed meats and salty greens nearly every day were about 30 percent more likely to have a stroke than people who rarely consumed these foods.
In addition, black people and people in the southern states most frequently dined on this type of menu, which could help explain why blacks have higher stroke risks than whites and why this region of the United States is known as the “stroke belt.”
So we know how most Americans eat: poorly. We know what most Americans — especially southern Americans — eat: too much salt, sugar, fat, and processed foods. The question is, knowing all we now know about diet and health, why do we keep eating this way?
Because we like to eat. And even if we know it’s not good for us, it tastes good! But I would respectfully submit that healthier, non-processed (real) food tastes better.
If Americans want to drive down the costs of healthcare, we need to look in the mirror. It starts and ends with each of us. The government can only do so much to affect these costs. Insurance companies will do what little they can, while preserving their massive and replenished reservoirs of money. Drug companies need us to be sick, so no help from them in decreasing costs. Corporations that produce food want us to eat and, in fairness, give us what we want.
The only ones who can give us what we deserve is us — consumers and citizens.
Read article from MedicineNet.com here.