(Mark Hyman, MD) The insurance reform at the heart of the Affordable Care Act allows for better access to medical care, including medication and surgery. It laudably promotes improved efficiencies, reduction in medical errors, better care coordination, and implementation of best practices.
But what if we are coordinating the wrong kind of care? What if our best practices are the wrong practices? Our toxic industrial diet, our sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, and environmental toxins cause diabesity and its attendant downstream ills (often mislabeled as something else such as hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and dementia.)
Drugs and surgery are feeble, ineffective, costly, and often harmful treatments for lifestyle-induced illness…
Intensive lifestyle therapy–not wellness counseling or prevention, but lifestyle treatment of existing chronic disease – focusing on pre-diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease has been proven to work better than medication or surgery. Currently this is not implemented in our health care delivery system or in community-based programs in any meaningful way. But it can and should be…
Innovative community-based models … can change our default choices for how we live, move, eat, and play. If the things that create health are easy to access and things that create disease are hard to get to, extraordinary change occurs… The peer support group models were more effective than conventional medical intervention for improving the health of diabetics and health care costs decreased 10-fold.
Community: These changes would save a lot of suffering, in addition to a lot of dollars.
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