Sunday, November 03, 2013

Health in Australia

Australia, like the US and other western countries, is becoming more and more obese. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2011-12, 70% of males and 56% of females in Australia aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of suffering from a range of health conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, knee and hip problems, and sleep apnoea. In 2008, the total annual cost of obesity to Australia, including health system costs, loss of productivity costs and carers' costs, was estimated at around $58 billion.

Each year around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack., this equates to around 150 heart attacks a day, or one heart attack every 10 minutes. More than 350,000 Australians have had a heart attack at some time in their lives (From the ABS National Health Survey)

To quote from a documentary I saw ... "What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure. Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases."

Almost everyone I know is taking some sort of pill ... Cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure you name it.

However, it would seem to me that pills are the "band aid" solution. They mask the symptoms but do nothing to prevent the problem. Doctors in Australia don't have any interest in preventing any of the illnesses we face. They offer solutions once you already have the disease.

In contrast, even though I used to have very high cholesterol and a "fatty liver", even though my doctor recommended that I start taking Lipitor (an anti cholesterol drug), even though I was somewhat overweight ... since adopting a plant based diet I no longer have these issues and I'm drug free!

Again, to quote from the documentary I saw " Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive, but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?"

What you eat can greatly affect your health and well-being. Scientific studies have shown time and again that choosing healthy foods can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

There is compelling evidence that dietary patterns that include processed foods and animal products, even in moderation, are the leading cause of modern diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The evidence that plant based diets are health supporting is consistent across all types of research, particularly in regard to whole plant foods. The wholefoods plant based diet has a wide breadth of benefit, in that the same dietary approach that will prevent or even reverse one disease is beneficial to the management of others.
Some resources to back up these claims
Whole Foods Plant Based Health - an excellent Australian resource

Biggest US Insurer Kaiser Permanente Tells 17,000 Doctors to Recommend Plant-Based Diets! also includes links to studies to back up their claims

The Last Heart Attack -- CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta Documentary

Forks over Knives - examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

Preventing disease and taking control of your own health is a topic I wish the Australian Government, Australian media and Australian people knew more about.

If Australians knew that a wholefoods plant based diet would extend their life and reduce (and reverse) many cancers ...would they?

If Australians knew that, by changing to a wholefoods plant based diet they could be in control of their own health ... would they?

If Australians knew that, by changing to a wholefoods plant based diet taking another pill was not the only way to deal with their health problems ... would they?

Shouldn't this be front page news?