Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Jul

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth…?

PreventionIt’s official: 1 out of every 2 Americans has a chronic health condition. Additionally, twenty-five percent have more than one chronic condition. In a new series initiated by the Centers for Disease Control (the first paper recently published in The Lancet), researchers note that chronic diseases have, in fact, overtaken the human health scene, with noncommunicable conditions causing two-thirds of global deaths. In the U.S., we likewise see the impact in terms of mortality but also in terms of personal disability as well as health care expenditures. Previous reports from the CDC claim a staggering 84% of health care costs go toward treatment of chronic conditions. Is there a way off of this sick merry-go-round? How about the old adage about prevention being worth a pound of cure? For all its seeming practicality, is the prevention mindset – and protocol – the best answer, let alone the panacea?

The State of Affairs

Authors of the CDC series share the “short list of risk factors” associated with the individual incidence (and societal prevalence) of these chronic conditions as “tobacco use, poor diet and physical activity…excessive alcohol consumption, uncontrolled high blood pressure, and hyperlipidaemia [high cholesterol].” While I have my own diverging and nuanced takes on the cholesterol issue in particular and would likely add chronic stress, I can’t argue much with the list itself. We suffer as the result of the most basic choices and deficits. It makes the premise of preventative medicine seems so elementary, but clearly we’re (collectively speaking anyhow) missing the boat. What does preventative medicine end up encompassing in the conventional scheme of things?

The CDC report authors cite, for instance, their organization’s four-pronged approach to prevention strategy: “(1) epidemiology and surveillance to monitor trends and inform programmes; (2) environmental approaches that promote health and support healthy behaviours; (3) health system interventions to improve the effective use of clinical and other preventive services; and (4) community resources linked to clinical services that sustain improved management of chronic conditions.”

While one hope of prevention strategy holds that additional contact with health providers can allow for essential nutrition and fitness counseling, surveys of actual doctors complicate this picture. Research shows that less than a quarter of doctors feel confident or particularly qualified offering diet and exercise advice to their patients. Surveys, in fact, have demonstrated that medical students continually receive inadequate nutrition training with a mere 22.3 hours of instruction on average. The results show. Less than one-eighth of physician visits include fitness or nutritional counseling. Given the prevalence of obesity and chronic illness, clearly one-eighth isn’t going to cut it.

Beyond the public health monitoring and the clinical intervention practices are the “self-management education” and the “supportive community environments.” (I think Primal folks have some experience with these concepts….) It’s another complex tier of incorporating and maintaining healthy behaviors that are the linchpin for prevention but may be at odds with conventional lifestyle practices, particularly in certain regions or population communities. Public health campaigns go out of their way to make healthy choices appear “normal,” but the reality can feel very different. It’s no surprise that people tell me time and again how embracing the Primal Blueprint as a counter-cultural lifestyle helped them adhere to the PB and actually enhance their investment in it.

The Paradigm of Prevention

The core issue of – or perhaps beyond – prevention is investment, I believe. Education – actually physiologically sound education – is key. People have to know the correct information to make positive change. (This is still a problem in CW society, but progress is being made here and there.) Nonetheless, after education (or with it), it’s about behavior. Are we going to make the choices we know are “right” for us? Are we going to complain about the costs and inconvenience, or are we going to see the trade-off as a bargain that we can take advantage of with planning that fits our personal budgets and needs.

Preventative medicine is about investment. Our health requires an investment of time and resources. People get impatient with the cost of real food. In truth, it’s not cheap. Yet, it’s a question of priority on a societal and individual level. We invest in our retirements – a worthy endeavor – but let our health go to pot, which means we’ll need more for retirement – often considerably more with the cost of an added private insurance policy to pick up what the first doesn’t cover, with the immense cost of prescription drugs, with the out-of-pocket expenses for various treatments, therapies and surgeries. We live with disabilities related to our medical conditions or a chronically impaired sense of general well-being. We end life never knowing what full capacity felt like.

This is my beef with conventional thinking or even the conventional paradigm of prevention. It’s about gingerly handling our unhealthy tendencies keeping us perpetually just shy of the disease threshold. It’s about assembling a collection of moderate messages and a barrage of outside resources to save people – but often just barely – from themselves. The goal becomes keeping something at bay rather than adopting a bigger picture of real wellness. Prevention is still about the disease: you’re “preventing” a disease. How about replacing the fixation on what to avoid with what to walk toward? What about setting the bar higher? If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, maybe an ounce of vision is worth a pound of prevention.

A View Beyond Prevention

Again, what kind of investment are you willing to make in your health? What kind of return do you think you’ll get on those efforts? (Can you imagine the responses you’d get from a cross-section of people with these questions?) How far is your doctor willing to push you in investing in yourself? How much truth, clarity and how many tools is he/she willing to offer? (I seriously cannot say this without feeling more gratitude for the new Primal Advantage service. It was truly a cause close to my convictions.)

While prevention is a step in the right direction, I believe in aligning myself with more optimistic intentions. I’m going to focus ahead on where I want to go, not live life looking behind me wondering when x, y, or z is going to catch up and nab me. I find I feel more personal authority and responsibility when I look at my health goals this way. I am choosing to walk toward a life I select. I am going to work toward the state of well-being I want. I am going to fuel my potential for vitality. I am going to build on my own vision for life. I am going to see each choice I make, every health/wellness related purchase I make, and every tool or program I use as a logical, positive investment in my ultimate goal and good. Pursuit can be much more inspiring than prevention.

Thanks for reading today, everyone. How do you see the message and measures of prevention in our current health care culture? How does it compare to how you conceptualize your approach to caring for your own health? Share your thoughts, and have a great end to the week.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. A really rough way off seeing some numbers is to look at your health insurance premiums, your deductible, your co-pays, and what you actually use in a year (as opposed to the premiums paid–you NEVER use all of what you pay for, unless you have a catastrophic event). Then, look at what you spend for food in a year.

    The food’s always gonna be cheaper, folks. Unfortunately, Obamacare will no longer let us sail by with cash, but we CAN elect to pay for procedures in cash to avoid charges to our health insurance plans…unless you choose to pay the penalty every year and go without a plan.

    And like the cost of drugs and procedures, the penalty is always soaring to new heights, yet food costs climb at a much slower rate. Besides, I hear it’s easier in some states to get on the SNAP program than it is to get Medicaid–gosh! I wonder why. :) Could it be SUBSIDIZATION?

    Wenchypoo wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  2. I am 60 with no chronic disease —good genes and good diet! Glad and thankful to be on the right side of things.

    Sarah wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  3. It takes work, thought, time and commitment to live a healthy lifestyle. It takes personal responsibility which many people seem to lack these days. Luck has nothing to do with it. Most people ask how I stay trim…I’m lucky they say. No. One day I woke up in my 60s with major problems. I worked out my entire life to prevent this, so I thought. I took the bull by the horns. I studied different theories and took what worked for me. It took at least a year to get almost back on track and I’m still at it. I There’s no lucky pill. It’s not a short term instant process. People just don’t want to work that hard anymore. I’m not totally primal but I incorporate the stuff that works. Doctors told me my diet had nothing to do with it. Really. I could still be on some sort of medication but I decided to take the long and difficult way and it works.

    cate wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • You are right on. Personal responsibility is a lost art anymore. People don’t get it when I say I can’t do stuff on Sundays (besides church) because that’s my food prep day. It takes time and work to cook healthy food and chop up lots of veggies for the week. I don’t watch much TV at night, and I don’t eat out much. Instead, I use my free time to walk, sleep, cook, and read a little. Not much of a magic pill! Yeah, it’s a sacrifice to miss the new shows and the potlucks at work. People think I’m crazy. “What do you mean you don’t eat pizza?!?” or “You’ve never seen the Walking Dead?!?”

      The Beckster wrote on July 3rd, 2014
      • Oh man I feel this. People I just meet think I’m some sort of cultural illiterate because I stopped watching TV long ago. I spend more time than I’d like in front of (computer) screens so why would I add to that with more screen time? Since learning how to cook and striving for paleo, I’m disappointed by most restaurant food as well (and I live in a big foodie city) so I don’t keep up with those fads either. I hate after work drinks because it fucks with my sleep but I love a good brunch. I’ve become a bit of an outlier but I fear most people think I’m just a curmudgeon.

        amy wrote on July 6th, 2014
    • To say that luck has nothing to do with one’s health is mighty arrogant. Of course choices can help or diminish, but luck plays a huge role.

      I inherited genes for a long life. I had nothing to do with it. GW was born into the lucky sperm club, he could become president a hell of a lot easier than you or me (I’m presuming.) Kids come down with terrible diseases and even cancer when only a few years old. Oh, they should have made better choices? (Hopefully like being born in a country with decent health care for all.)

      Please, get off of your high horse. You aren’t superior.

      OnTheBayou wrote on July 4th, 2015
  4. “…the conventional paradigm of prevention. It’s about gingerly handling our unhealthy tendencies keeping us perpetually just shy of the disease threshold.”

    Now that’s a profound statement and hits the nail on the head.

    Cindy wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • I’m not sure we ARE shy of the disease threshold. It seems to me there are two main interests dictating the health and well being of the majority of the population: the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. The former has guaranteed that if you eat what they process, you will have disease; the latter intends to keep us diseased, somewhere between perfect health and death (because neither of those things is good for their profit sweet spot) for as long as possible.

      David wrote on July 4th, 2014
  5. There is much much less money to be made in prevention, especially from a nutritional perspective. Government money to be saved yes, money to be made no. Ask any hospital administrator what their main goal is. If they are honest they will say it is to keep the beds full. That is how we make the most profit. Pharmaceutical companies develop therapies that make people feel better but rarely cure.

    And to be fit for most of us requires a special effort. Our jobs no longer provide the means even if unintended.

    Unfortunately I have little hope that there will be any large scale improvements except for select individuals who choose to be healthy.

    John wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  6. Truth be told, the perception that most Americans have of health and wellness is horribly wrong and confused. I’ve been eating and living a Primal/Paleo lifestyle for nearly 5 years now with tremendous health, success, and vitality. Everyone around me can clearly see that. I’ve been fortunate that some of my friends and family have adopted the same, and are also enjoying good health.

    Yet more often that not, people I know dismiss what I’m doing without even giving it a serious look. I have a neighbor who argues endlessly with me that “grains are an important dietary staple”. She’s intelligent and educated, but the bulk of information she hears from commercials, news reports, TV doctors, etc are repeating the same bad information over and over. Without meaning to be rude or judgmental here, I’ll just be honest — this neighbor and her husband are both morbidly obese. They both have horrible health problems. Their children are obese, and it seems that one of them is almost always on a new medication or antibiotic cocktail. I just can’t break through the obvious disconnect there.

    I think the common thinking is simply “I just can’t help myself, I know I should eat less but I’m always hungry”, and “I should really exercise more”. And sometimes people manage to “go on a diet” and eat a little less for a short time, or start running or hitting the gym for a while. But the older they get, the more fruitless that becomes, and they end up giving up the extra effort in frustration and saying “I guess this is just the way my life is meant to be”.

    Thankfully, people like Mark and the other ancestral health advocates are trying to get the word out and make people aware that they can seize control of their own health and wellness again. I think it’s growing and gaining momentum. But a lot of powerful forces stand to lose a lot if the current system is tipped over, so who knows how this will all play out.

    George wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • +1, my feelings exactly!

      Christie wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Well said.

      Rosanna wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • #1
      Agree 100%

      wildgrok wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Boy you nailed it.

      JoeBrewer wrote on July 4th, 2014
  7. Just ordered the Primal Advantage, and am excited to work with a doctor who can help fine tune me, and who will understand what I am trying to do for my own health. I am all about prevention, as I have watched many elderly people spend hours of their lives in doctor’s waiting rooms, and I mourn for those lost hours for them.

    Also, I am a nurse and am appalled at the lists of medications MOST people are on. I shudder to think of all the crazy interactions happening inside their bodies, creating more symptoms that will ‘require’ another medication to control. Ugh! No way is that going to be my future!

    Rosanna wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  8. You go to the doctor with a minor complaint, such as heartburn. You know the cause but you don’t mention it because you can’t bear to give up your pizza and pasta (or whatever). And so the doctor gives you a prescription for the infamous Purple Pill. Later on a few more issues crop up, say, including borderline high BP. Does your doctor bother to investigate why your BP has gone up? Nope. He can’t spare the time and and he wasn’t trained for that. He just hands you a few more prescriptions.

    You get older and develop more health issues, hence more prescriptions, incuding a few to counteract some pesky side effects that have been bothering you. Pretty soon you’re on a half dozen or more different drugs, and you can’t understand why you feel worse instead of better.

    Nowhere along this road to poor health is it ever mentioned that you eat too many sweets and grain products. You might be told to lose a few pounds but the CW diet you’re put on takes too much effort and leaves you soooo hungry that after a week or two you give up. You no longer get any exercise, aside from wheezing your way to the kitchen or bathroom, because the chemical imbalance created by all your meds–to say nothing of that spare tire you’re hauling around–has sapped your energy, your strength, and your motivation. Oops, bet that wasn’t mentioned by your doctor either. So you get fatter and sicker. Upshot: The next time you see your doc it’s from a hospital bed where even more meds are being mainlined into your poor screwed-up body.

    Insanity, right? Unfortunately, this scenario is all to common. We all know people stuck on this deadly CW merry-go-round. More than a few of us have been there ourselves, until we wised up. Prevention is key, and you won’t get it from your doctor or your pharmacist. It absolutely HAS to come from within. (I know… preaching to the choir here, but I had fun writing it.)

    Shary wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • I get where you`re coming from; still, I can`t help but feel that all the CW-hate that seems to be so popular around here is a little over the top:As far as I can see, “conventional wisdom” is actually not much closer to being a “monolithic bloc” than the “alternative health sphere,” and the “basic recommendations” all the diverse subfactions of the latter seem to agree on – minimizing processed food intake, sufficient NEAT (ie not sitting all the time), strength training, stress management/avoiding chronic stress, maintaining proper circadian rhythms via sufficient light exposure during the day/sleep at night – are something I`ve heard pretty much all of the “conventionally trained” health professionals I have ever interacted with strongly recommend. (Then again, I `m not American – maybe it`s different in the US.)

      Karl wrote on July 3rd, 2014
      • Karl, read the comment posted by Rosanna, above, who is a nurse. “CW-hate”, as you put it, exists in the US for a reason. The reason is that poor health care is the rule here, not the exception, particularly if one is low-income or on Medicare.

        Shary wrote on July 3rd, 2014
        • Shary,

          okay, but the epidemic of sick people on multiple meds Rosanna describes appears to be largely the result of said people being hell-bent on building their diet around processed junk – which, to my knowledge, is pretty much the opposite of what your average health care professional or even government institution recommends, be they ever so “conventional” (This is probably not brought up as frequently as it should be during most doctor-patient interactions because many practitioners have noticed the phenomenon several commenters bemoan in this thread – namely, that most people seem to be unwilling/unable to fundamentally change their behaviour (- at least until they hit rock-bottom, and it appears to be a somewhat rare occurrence even then).) .
          When someone eats sugar all day long and doesn`t brush/floss, is their dentist to blame for their cavities?

          Karl wrote on July 3rd, 2014
        • All good points, Karl, but it’s a complex issue with too many enablers enabling those who actually choose to be enabled. People in the US have been brainwashed to believed there’s a magic pill for everything that ails them, so why should they do something difficult like change their diet or get off their butt and hit the gym?

          This belief is reinforced by the numerous drug commercials (“Ask your doctor if such-and-such is right for you…”)–which should be illegal but aren’t–and the fact that many if not most MD’s hand these drugs out like candy, often on request. because they, too, frequently believe in that magic prescription pad, but more often because they are wined, dined, and wooed by the pharmaceutical companies. To further muddy the water, payment by the insurance companies is more or less automatic, and is NOT based on positive results. People can and do die because of bad healthcare, but the doctors get paid anyway.

          Shary wrote on July 4th, 2014
        • Medicare is highly respected. People too young to get on it, want to. I’ve been on it for four years, which is a hell of a lot more satisfactory than my previous plan: None. Welcome to pre-ACA America.

          I was a caregiver to both my parents as they went through their last years. The doctors were well versed in what would be paid for and what would not be paid for. Very few limitations in choices. Never an issue. And if Medicare paid for something, their “medigap” insurance paid without complaint.

          Please check how broad that brush is before you go painting with it.

          OnTheBayou wrote on July 4th, 2015
    • It’s almost like it’s our own responsibility to educate (and restrain) ourselves, rather than expecting doctors and others to do it for us.

      In fact, it’s exactly like that.

      Michael wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  9. You’ve all said it so well there’s no need to repeat it. My ancestral health history isn’t the best. My plan, that evolves steadily, is to live well and not be drawn into keeping up with the Joneses. I keep my diabetes in the normal range without meds. I don’t waste time feeling sorry for myself because I have a plan that doesn’t include “junk” food. I sit too much, but I almost always do at least a half hour of exercise that includes stretches and lifting heavy (for me) things. I got my education from you all and not much from my darling chubby doctor who has a pill for every occasion. 😉 I’m still chubby myself, but nowhere near where I started.

    Someone once said: “If you want to be healthy, get a disease and learn how to manage it.” Anybody know who said it? It’s working for me.

    granny gibson wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • That quote caught my eye because I, too, have a “disease” that helped me change my diet and exercise. While mine is a rare neurological condition, I find that I can handle the symptoms better when I eat well and exercise consistently. Maintaining a 120 lb. weight loss has made life a lot easier despite the physical limitations.

      PawPrint wrote on July 3rd, 2014
      • Good for you! I wish I had paid attention earlier in life.

        granny gibson wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  10. Yup. Just about everyone I know would rather go get a prescription instead of actually putting in some effort and thinking. My father was always looking for the “Magic Pill”. Most people are damned lazy too! Also like Mark said, saving for a retirement while you’re too sick to enjoy it. We’ve gone insane as a culture.

    Nocona wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  11. The CDC also recently released its report stating that 1 in 10 deaths among people between the ages of 20 and 64 die from excess alcohol consumption. Another reason I’m thankful that this site has recently taken on the subject of why drink alcohol at all.

    eatsleepswim wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Yes, too much alcohol is bad. But alcohol raises HDL cholesterol and reduces inflammatory markers. In small, or even moderately large quantities, it is associated with lower mortality.

      Karl wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  12. People believe in medicine over food, and they’ve been taught to respect doctors, especially the ones “successful” enough to make it into TV land, and people really don’t seem to question for the most part how this affects them.

    Most of the time they don’t even realize how unhealthy they are. Denial is comfortable and rampant in our culture. People want to spend their money on “stuff” instead of good quality food and people want to eat things that are quick, easy and emotionally numbing. There are so many variables affecting the lack of prevention in the health of Americans. It is so off balance that it’s hard to see how it will swing the other way, especially with big money involved. Hopefully more and more people will continue to spread the word, and more will begin to listen and do the same.

    Michele wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Doctors are supposedly the most educated about the human body and how to heal it. Most Americans take that at face value, so when a doc just treats symptoms (high bp, high blood sugar, gerd, erectile dysfunction, migraine, sleep problems, anxiety, depression), patients automatically assume the doc is doing all s/he can.

      So the underlying, actual problem must be an unfixable mystery. Except, it’s not.

      fitmom wrote on July 4th, 2014
  13. I feel that I do alright in the Primal Ounce of Vision department, but I’m sure my cholesterol numbers would probably scare my doctor. Maybe my weight, too, since I’m sure my BMI is out of range due to all the lifting heavy things I do. How many 50-year-old ladies squat 155lbs or deadlift more than 200lbs?

    50 sounds pretty old to many people, but my partner is 15 years older than me. I have tried to serve as an example, but he blames my apparent health on my youth and his sickness on aging or on being “different” from me. If only he would give up the wheat products that make him sick every single time he eats them. If only he would change the way he exercises to produce more strength and vitality. He could probably change his dour disposition with a little saturated fat and cholesterol in his diet, but of course, he won’t do that because he believes it would give him indigestion and heart disease (although he’s already got plenty of indigestion right now.)

    I do not know a single normal-weight individual my age or older who will do any of the things recommended by the Primal Blueprint. They will exercise, but it’s only chronic cardio they will do. They will eat real food, but only if it is high in Omega 6 and whole grains and low in animals. And they will take pills to control symptoms and risk factors since diet and exercise alone never seems to be enough. That’s all you can really hope for with health-conscious people unless they are willing to experiment, and I don’t know a single adult over age 60 willing to try ANY of the Primal Blueprint recommendations. They all think I’m nuts, or they think I will see the light when I’m finally their age and riddled with all the problems that they are trying diligently to avoid.

    Diane wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  14. As a DC, I will keep this short – decompress your spine regularly, even more if you sit a lot, or exercise a lot with high impact. That simple change will dramatically change how much compression happens in your spine and keep your base level much better than letting the compression starve your discs of the juice they need to stay healthy. Even sleep doesn’t do enough often times. Studies say 50% or more of back pain is of a disc origin. In practice, this accounts for almost all pain over the age of 50.

    Dr. Jason Bussanich, DC wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  15. I generally don’t comment, but this topic is so important. I’m an eye doctor that works in the public sector with an overwhelmingly aged and sick population. The most disturbing trend we are seeing are the multiple co-morbidities in patients that are in their 50’s and 60’s, while many of our older 80-90 year olds have managed to make it to that point with often very little disability. I feel that the sea change in this country’s eating habits and relationship with food around the time that the “baby boomers” were children must certainly be a contributing factor, and many of my colleagues in all different medical specialties agree. As a practitioner, since sick bodies produce sick eyes, I incorporate nutritional and lifestyle education into almost every patient visit. We’ve gotten remarkable results in reversing diabetic and hypertensive eye disease (sometimes even reversing the disease itself) as well as improving a host of chronic inflammatory conditions with ocular manifestations. At the very simplest, I encourage eating real food and getting nutrition from whole food, not supplements, unless there’s really a deficit or a specific issue we’re addressing. Patients ask me what they should take to keep good eyesight for the rest of their lives, and I let them have it :) (also discussing sleep, sleep apnea and its effect on the hormonal systems is very beneficial) Since the system I work in doesn’t reward treatment/procedures, I fully try to eliminate as many patient visits as I can by making them not need me…. true emergencies and a few non-lifestyle related conditions only are what I’d love to eventually see in my office.

    Jodi wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Great work! Hopefully your approach will catch on more…

      Tom B-D wrote on July 3rd, 2014
    • Excellent! Also, sick bodies produce sick children. I’m hoping the buck stops with us. Right here, right now.

      Nocona wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  16. Most of us have found MDA out of a necessity to manage our own health. The health care industry could not provide solutions so we set out to find answers and here we are. I was recently working in a major university hospital. I rode the elevator with an obese man in a scooter chair, sporting an oxygen tank. He looked younger than me. Not to pass any judgement, but I could not help to notice the two liter bottle of name brand soft drink and jumbo bag of nationally advertised snack chips sitting the basket on front. In all fairness to MDs, patients are rarely compliant with magic pills, it would seem futile to prescribe diet and exercise to patients receiving taxpayer funded healthcare buying convenience foods with SNAP cards. The SAD diet and the treatment of it’s victims is a trillion dollar industry. I would rather spend my money on organic produce and wild and pastured protein.

    Jack Lea Mason wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  17. There’s no money in prevention, and lots of money in treatment. I’m just reading about the blue light / melatonin / cancer connection. Apparently, one can dramatically cut one’s cancer risk by simply wearing orange sunglasses after sunset (studies indicate it can be as dramatic as a 50% reduction in risk). The research appears to be very solid and convincing. That’s an expenditure of, what, $20? Compared to the costs of cancer treatment? One would think that the cancer organizations would be all over that, if they actually cared about preventing cancer – fascinating how none of the pink-ribbon brigade are raising awareness of this one. They’d rather dump more and more money into treatment research.

    I went to the dentist recently, to get some dental work done. I asked her what she could recommend to me about nutrition for dental health – what I should be getting more of in my diet to keep my teeth healthy. She had no information to give me. That’s not what they teach in dental school. You can’t make any money out of telling patients to get more bone broth in their diet. You can make lots of money, though, by drilling and filling.

    Alas, for any sort of preventive medicine, we appear to be on our own. I’m so glad that MDA exists.

    Meepster wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  18. The only thing I remember from my 8th grade health class is the saying.. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I always thought that was excellent advice.

    But… “An ounce of vision is worth a pound of prevention,” takes the idea a big step forward. Genius. Teaching and old dog new tricks and all that. Thanks Mark!

    Hmmmm, I just remembered. Inscribed on the outside of our Jr. High School was the motto…. Where There is no Vision the People Perish. It’s all coming together.

    Sharon wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  19. I have come to think of my resolve to do a fully excellent job with my eating habits (including cooking) as the exercise of a muscle that strengthens with use. (Some call this will-power though that is such an overused and abused term.)

    In fact, I have come to use this attitude as a watchword in all I do throughout the day. Approach everything with vigor and do my best to make whatever I do turn out well. Believe me, it gets easier over time. My wife calls me the ‘energizer bunny’ since I’m pretty much always ready to jump up and do whatever needs to be done.

    I hope I’m not coming off as a braggart. It’s just that since I first heard that exercising one’s vigorous response to life is just like making any other muscle work hard that I have had so many positive things happen.

    Hope this inspires you as it did me. It’s really wonderful to have life be more fun!

    rawmeat wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  20. The CDC risk factors (poor diet, little exercise, high cholesterol…) mix up cause and effect, problem and symptom. It’s like saying that the risk factors (i.e. correlates) for head injury are: travelling fast, not wearing a helmet, and bleeding from the forehead…

    Scott UK wrote on July 4th, 2014
  21. My gut is kicking my butt lately when I try to give it something it doesn’t like. I guess that’s healthy. I used to have more apparent mastery over it and be able to force more stuff down but now it’s gleaned a more autonomous gene-expressing and regurgitating ability and rebels against me when I try to make it process things for the most important of all organs in existence, my brain. Some people that live near my campsite left a care package for me consisting of SAD munchies, juice boxes, some vodka and cigarettes, After-bite and Deep Woods mosquito spray. I pigged out on a bunch of the food because I felt like it, drank the vodka mixed with the juice, and since I’m recovering from toil and had a case of cannabis munchies, afterwards went shopping and got a bunch of cheap cheese and sausages, just kept stuffing myself the last couple days, and have lately probably been consuming too much spice, tomato, and vinegar.
    Today’s my birthday so that’s my excuse to experience lots of chemical enjoyment and last night though I was exhausted I walked to the Beer Store shortly before it closed and stocked up for the day early, only had a bit before sleeping, didn’t have a lot today, but continued stuffing myself to capacity with meat and cheese, downed some free energy shots, took some of my preferred recreational pharma-provided product, and instead of slowly building my buzz just projectile vomited in one of the kids’ individual bathrooms in the library. I barely made it to the toilet and had a lot of cleaning to do after.
    My stomach still feels way too full. I need to fast and I have a bunch of food that should probably be refrigerated or frozen. (Maybe the local shelter will help with that for a couple days) I don’t think I should be in such a hurry to build muscle if I get so thrown off from my efforts and have to force feed myself to get gains fast. I’m going to focus on fun instead, as I’ve been slowly getting beastlier this summer living mostly that way.

    Animanarchy wrote on July 4th, 2014
    • Things just seem to move into place. I had a bike that broke too much to use so I abandoned it, found another, but then the tire got popped (I think someone did that on purpose when they were mad because I reminded them they owe me some money or something, and truly they are kinda whacked out.) So I spent a couple days walking around a lot with a backpack and handbag and feel like all the biking exercise has improved my footing form and performance.
      Earlier today I was picking berries from a garden / wild plant patch on a hill adjacent to an apartment building parking lot and a lady gave me $10, then I was walking to the library and saw a decent enough bike at the curb so I knocked on the door of the house it was in front of and the man who answered the door said he left it there for anyone to take and that I was welcome to take it if I have use for it, so now I got a new street bike that rides smooth.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 5th, 2014
      • …though yesterday some lady went nuts and dragged it (the new bike) roughly across the ground trying to damage it and threw my backpack, all because I was just resting in the backyard she shares with other tenants renting in the house, where I had gone to see one of my buddies who lives there, and when she saw me she hurried over and started yelling at me to get out of specifically her backyard. After she threw my backpack I was ready to turn her into pulp and surely would have if I’d known I could get away with it (I have no qualms about hurting a female, IF she deserves it) but instead settled for some of the most on-the-verge-of-snapping ferocious yelling at her that I’ve done in like a year and some warnings about what I’d do if she didn’t keep her hands off my stuff, and of course she resorted to pulling out her cell phone and calling the cops like plenty of immature people when they’re in the wrong in that sort of argument, so I left, but if she wants to give me any more problems when I go back there, she best remember I know where she lives!

        Animanarchy wrote on July 7th, 2014
  22. Good job on the hookup with Dr. Kate. She is awesome.

    I always have wondered the same thing.. Where are people supposed to go when they need medical help? People are not getting the answers and are many times getting sicker in the medical industry care system.

    It’s really depressing and leaves people feeling hopeless even if they do adopt the primal/paleo lifestyle they have no real practitioners to report to! My consults can only go so far!!

    Evan Brand wrote on July 5th, 2014
  23. An ounce of prevention is worth our lives. Every single thing we do, no matter how big or small. It plays a big part on our health. I have a friend whose an occasional smoker. He smokes like 2-3 sticks per day, some days even none. I told him that’s going to be a problem with him in the long run. It has toxins, nicotine, stains his teeth, clogs his airways but he still won’t listen to me. He even smokes after our afternoon runs. Oh well. lol!

    Kevin wrote on July 11th, 2014

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