Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Does public policy encourage, even subsidize, our increasing tidal wave of preventable chronic disease?
A timeless, penetrating (and concise) American Conservative article by Addison Del Mastro makes exactly this argument. I strongly encourage you to take the time (maybe 3-4 minutes) to read the original here.
A quick summary (including some familiar themes):
U.S. obesity, heart disease, and diabetes deaths are among the world's highest.
U.S. life expectancy is decreasing.
Much of the annual U.S. healthcare outlay is for preventable (diet- and lifestyle-based) diseases--sugar issues alone are related to at least 33% of the total.
A small coterie of well-connected agricultural and food manufacturing companies dominate U.S. food production (and related public policy.)
This public policy includes subsidies for industrial-scale "mono-crop" farming (wheat, sugar, corn, soy, canola, etc.)
These monocrops are found in virtually all (addictive, artificially hyper-palatable) ultra-processed foods--which are increasingly linked with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.
Taxpayer dollars thus effectively subsidize the growing public "disease burden."
Del Mastro highlights other important points, including the heartbreaking, parasitic relationship foisted by soda companies on cash-strapped schools--increasing both current student obesity and lifelong obesogenic eating habits.
This fine article clearly highlights two of the three "legs of the stool" supporting a well-camouflaged, robustly self-sustaining macro-economy which thrives on public dietary ignorance and long-term chronic illness.
The third leg of that stool, along with complicit regulators and what Del Mastro calls the "agricultural-industrial complex," is, of course...medical corporations. Those who doubt that Big Medical is more interested in posting profits than curing patients should review this CNBC business article--which directly addresses that question.
Del Mastro views the healthcare field as overwhelmed by the hijinks of publicly subsidized and promoted "artificial pseudo-food," and leaves it at that.
I would add that in a world where the entrenched, conventional medical community, from doctors to dietitians to academicians, stubbornly resist changes to the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet)--even as widespread, diet-based chronic diseases ravage the public under their care--there is more here than meets the eye.
As Del Mastro says, "...a very large percentage--maybe even a majority--of U.S. healthcare spending is on entirely preventable diseases."
A "majority" of 3.65 trillion dollars (2018 total U.S. healthcare outlay) is very big business.
And big business is good business.
And don't forget:
DAVID WHITESIDE IS NOT A DOCTOR and does not give medical advice or treatment. He offers information, speculation, and personal experience only. Nothing you read on this website or blog should be construed as medical advice or as intended to supersede information you get from your medical professional. Following the advice given here or on any recommended resource site does not create a doctor-patient relationship or create liability for David or anyone else. David is not liable for any loss or complication you experience from following any diet or taking any action. You should check with your properly accredited medical professional if you think you are injured or ill.