Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Health Care, Not Sick Care

Best-selling author and physician Dr. Andrew Weil spends an hour with Diane Rehm explaining how the American health care system could be more appropriately tagged "sickness care," and he offers suggestions on how the system can be changed to promote a holistic approach to health and healing at considerably less cost.

His new book - Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future - Dr. Weil makes the case for a greater awareness of wellness in the way we approach health care.

Click on Dr. Weil's website for a more comprehensive look at holistic medicine and wellness through the mind/body/spirit connection.

And Michael Pollan recently penned an insightful op-ed piece - Big Food vs. Big Insurance - about how the way we grow and eat food in the US impacts health care costs.

An Excerpt:

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.

We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care."

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