Obama Launches New Healthcare Site; Nutrition is Part of the Discussion

Americans are speaking up about the importance of nutrition and of going against the grain in healthcare.

President-Elect Barack Obama has launched an interactive healthcare site
welcoming comments and ideas from people on what should be done to reform the U.S. healthcare system. There are already fifteen pages of comments, but on the first page alone, the importance of nutrition and some of the issues I raised about corn in previous posts — Corn Fed and Fat: The American Problem that is Spreading to Other Countries and “King Corn” A Must-See Film — have been raised.

I encourage you to go to the new interactive healthcare site and read the whole discussion. Comment yourself to help shape healthcare policy if you’re so inclined.

Here are a few snippets of the discussion from the first page of the new site:

kllmt wrote:

…Alternative health care providers such as nutritionists, acupuncturists, emotional counselors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors should be recruited to serve as the front line of defense against the onset of disease and as an adjunct to a doctor’s care, should illness still develop. The new health insurance system will be seriously flawed if coverage does not include these adjunct treatment providers…

We have established that the primary method of gaining and maintaining health is through healthy diet and exercise. Coverage should also include incentives for us to take these health issues more seriously, rather than expecting to swallow a pill and change nothing about our lifestyle. If we are willing to bicycle more to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, why not also do it to reduce our dependence on drugs and hospital stays? ….

This shift is already happening among individuals. People who are fed up with the failures of and damage done by the current system are seeking alternative therapies, but the current system is making it as difficult as possible. By fighting against patients’ rights to explore the best path to health, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the established healthcare system are CAUSING HARM to their patients and to our country as a whole, in order to benefit themselves. Doctors who may feel threatened by the increased role these adjunct providers will play may feel better if they reread their Hippocratic Oath…

Gordon K wrote:

I think you make an extremely important point here – thank you for stating the case so cogently. Half of the equation is creating a new health care system motivated by health and healing, not profit. The other half is changing our perceptions of what health care should consist of, with a movement away from expensive and/or invasive procedures (except when absolutely necessary), and towards health maintenance, healthy lifestyle, and embracing all legitimate health care paradigms….

huluhoop wrote:

In my opinion — the best way to combat many health problems —BAN HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!!….

sjcarl wrote:

I agree. I would add, we need to return to grass fed beef, which is high in omega 3s that we need. Cows were not made to digest corn, and the introduction of corn (and other disgusting things like slaughterhouse waste) into their diets has had to be accompanied by feeding them antibiotics. We need to reduce dairy in our diets. We were not made to digest cows milk. Unfortunately, alot of powerful lobbies oppose these things..

xtina wrote:

This would require dismantling the power of the corn growers and states. I wonder if Obama will be willing to disappoint or anger his home state of Illinois in that fashion.

Melissa’s Comments:

It is encouraging that Obama so early on is asking for input and debate about how to fix the broken U.S. healthcare (or should I say “disease care”?) system. It is more exciting that nutrition and even against-the-grain issues are coming up very quickly in the dialogue about it.

Just a few quick points: As the movie “King Corn” points out, a change in agricultural policy in the 1970s led to mountains and mountains of surplus corn, which led to corn infiltrating our food supply and animal feed, which led to the fattening of American people (and cattle). Changing this policy alone would help right the food supply quite a bit. But nutrition education and counseling in alignment with scientific research instead of the big-business food lobbyists have to be a part of any healthcare system that prevents disease and keeps people healthy. In fact, nutrition is the most important part!

We don’t have to wait for a revision in our healthcare system to dramatically improve our health. We just have to change our attitude to take individual responsibility for our health, then take action to live a healthier lifestyle. The first place to start is with our diet. No matter what healthcare system we have, diet is something each of us can work on right now to counteract illness and stay well.

© Copyright 2008 Melissa Diane Smith

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