Friday, February 20, 2015

Telling Us the Obvious

From the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion comes this years guidelines. First off the name of this institution is right out of 1984 or the like. We have a group of folks sitting around on an annual basis telling us what to eat. The answer is simple, less. We are in generally too fat, too lazy, and costing the health care system too much. End of report. But no, it is our Government at work and they cannot say in a few words what they can spend tens of thousands on. You have to read this report.

For example they state:

The 2015 DGAC’s work was guided by two fundamental realities. First, about half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults—nearly 155 million individuals—are overweight or obese. These conditions have been highly prevalent for more than two decades. Poor dietary patterns, overconsumption of calories, and physical inactivity directly contribute to these disorders. Second, individual nutrition and physical activity behaviors and other health-related lifestyle behaviors are strongly influenced by personal, social, organizational, and environmental contexts and systems. Positive changes in individual diet and physical activity behaviors, and in the environmental contexts and systems that affect them, could substantially improve health outcomes.

 So what is new with any of this? Nothing. Yet the problem is solved by individual choice. Yes, if we burn 2000 kcal per day we better not eat 2100 kcal per day. 3500 kcal is one added pound. Been that way for a few centuries at least.

They continue:

The DGAC found that several nutrients are underconsumed relative to the Estimated Average Requirement or Adequate Intake levels set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Committee characterized these as shortfall nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. For adolescent and premenopausal females, iron also is a shortfall nutrient. Of the shortfall nutrients, calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and potassium also are classified as nutrients of public health concern because their underconsumption has been linked in the scientific literature to adverse health outcomes. Iron is included as a shortfall nutrient of public health concern for adolescent females and adult females who are premenopausal due to the increased risk of iron-deficiency in these groups. The DGAC also found that two nutrients—sodium and saturated fat—are overconsumed by the U.S. population relative to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level set by the IOM or other maximal standard and that the overconsumption poses health risks.

Any reasonable diet would overcome this. Eating fast foods will not. Again nothing new here.

The report them bemoans:

Obesity and many other health conditions with a nutritional origin are highly prevalent. The Nation must accelerate progress toward reducing the incidence and prevalence of overweight and obesity and chronic disease risk across the U.S. population throughout the lifespan and reduce the disparities in obesity and chronic disease rates that exist in the United States for certain ethnic and racial groups and for those with lower incomes.  

Again, and for centuries, one knows that input less output is net accumulation. Added weight, above BMI 25 means increase inflammation, increased inflammation increases the risks of cancer, such as breast and prostate. We know that. So how does one regulate this? Simple, tax weight. Too simple, we become anti obese, yes, because it is to societies benefit. If one wants to be that way then one must carry the costs of being so. At least in a fair market.

They conclude:

It will take concerted, bold actions on the part of individuals, families, communities, industry, and government to achieve and maintain the healthy diet patterns and the levels of physical activity needed to promote the health of the U.S. population. These actions will require a paradigm shift to an environment in which population health is a national priority and where individuals and organizations, private business, and communities work together to achieve a population-wide “culture of health” in which healthy lifestyle choices are easy, accessible, affordable, and normative—both at home and away from home. In such a culture, health care and public health professionals also would embrace a new leadership role in prevention, convey the importance of lifestyle behavior change to their patients/clients, set standards for prevention in their own facilities, and help patients/clients in accessing evidence-based and effective nutrition and comprehensive lifestyle services and programs.

Nonsense! It does not take bold actions. Just put the fork down! The Government has de minimis role, since Government education programs are poor in influencing the public. The only factor is charging for obesity. Frankly there is no other way. It worked on tobacco!