mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Delivering Health
Fixing Healthcare by Fixing Healthcare Delivery
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • seattleoutcast

    All fine and dandy, but teaching nutrition would certainly help with preventative medicine. I don’t think I need to elaborate too much, only to say that the saturated fat theory is totally discredited, while carbs and sugars are known for inflammation and diabetes. Add that to the idea that cancer may be a metabolic disorder and not related to gene theory at all. Finally, it’s well established that 80 percent of body composition is based on the food one eats.

    If these ideas were taught in medical school, there could be an entire paradigm shift away from drugs (which are still necessary of course, but not for every illness.)

    • Jim__L

      Although I would include the caveat — nutrition (along with education) is one of those chaotic systems that’s just too d**n complicated to make generalizations about best practices, beyond “if you don’t eat enough calories you will starve to death, and there are some chemicals you need to survive, too.”

      Beyond that, the water gets very deep, very fast. You can see it in the “saturated fats” controversy, along with all the others.

      • seattleoutcast

        Yes, there certainly is controversy surrounding nutrition. I would argue, however, that much of what I am saying is not new and is scientifically valid. For example, with carbs, the Germans were already making connections linking carbs and sugars with obesity before WWII. In the 1960s, saturated fat was demonized not by science, but by politics. George McGovern is responsible for much of the problem. In fact, if science had been allowed to work on its own, we would have a much clearer picture today of what happens in our bodies. Gary Taubes discusses much of this in his book, “Good Calories Bad Calories.”

        Much of the confusion also comes from a scientific illiterate press (surprise, surprise!) For example, the “red meat is dangerous study” done recently was an observational study. Any scientist knows that observational studies are absolutely worthless except to find anomalies that can lead a researcher to do a real study. But was that in all of the news articles? No, it wasn’t. It led people to the false conclusion that red meat was bad for you.

        All that said, there is much good science being done today that is not controversial. There are solid principles that we can teach doctors. If science changes, so does the nutrition. That is the way science works. The only thing I recommend is that government get out of the way, as it has already killed millions with its faulty theories of saturated fat and heart disease.

    • Fat_Man

      Rubbish.

      • seattleoutcast

        What part is rubbish?

        • Fat_Man

          Nutrition crankery from the left coast. I will not try to argue you out of it. I merely point out that no matter what its scientific deficiencies our healthcare system is most crippled by political, institutional, and economic problems.

          Enjoy your sprouts.

          • seattleoutcast

            Sorry, I love my fatty steaks and my bacon. You must have a bias against science, because there is plenty out there that validates my point.

          • Fat_Man

            Enjoy your steak. But, the problems of the affordability and availability of healthcare services have squat to do with scientific doctrine.

          • seattleoutcast

            I only added that nutritional information would be helpful because it aids in preventative medicine. The fewer people with diabetes the better. That is all I was pointing out. As one who knows people now in massive debt thanks to Obamacare, I want nothing more than to see the current system crumble and replaced with a highly competetive, less intrusive system.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Are you a sous-vide fan by any chance?

            I have become most enamoured with mine….best steaks I have had in a very, very long time.

          • seattleoutcast

            f1b0nacc1: I don’t do sous-vide, but I enjoy my meats to be “low and slow”. I will often go 10-12 hours at 200 degrees. I will get to sous-vide one of these days because of the enormous enthusiasm for the technique.

            By the way, we miss you over at Rand’s website.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I live in KC, and one thing that I have gotten into more and more is doing my ribs in the sous-vide, then finishing them on the grill. It is well worth the experience. I am a DIY guy (with computers at least) and have now built a couple of sous-vide for myself….nothing like it!
            I do visit TTM now and again…my workload has been interfering with the ‘real priorities’ though! (grin) How is Bagdhad Jim holding up?

          • seattleoutcast

            I’m sorry to hear that work is interfering with comments! You will be glad to know that Baghdad Jim continues to make silly remarks and is trounced by the usual wrecking crew. It’s quite fun to watch him dance around the current Hillary problems 🙂

            My lips are smacking with the thought of sous-vide ribs.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I am making them (ribs) tonight, they are already sealed up and cooking. After six hours in the water, I take them out and finish them on my grill….only about 2 minutes or so with some good sauce. I seal them in the bag with a pinch of seasoned salt and a few extra aromatics (only a tiny bit though), and that gives the meat a really delightful tang. I have some smokey Mac and Cheese waiting to go in to serve on the side, and a small batch of greens for my wife.

            Ah, the joys of living in the developed world!

  • Andrew Allison

    “Currently, we have a mix of public single payer, private insurance, for profit, not for profit and other models . . . .” is certainly true, but has nothing to do with the subject of the post, which is delivery of healthcare, not how to pay for it.

  • Fat_Man

    The AMA is a large part of the problem. It is not part of the solution. Making medical education more arduous will not deal with the issue that America has only 2/3rds of the physicians that it needs. Indeed, it would be a step backwards. We will have doctors qualified to be philosopher kings, but you won’t be able to get an appointment with them if you are sick.

  • ljgude

    You can argue over sprouts and steaks all you want, but I’ll just point out once again that US Healthcare costs twice as much per patient or as a percentage of GDP than the OECD average. And the health outcomes are well – not quite as good. THE AMA can enshrine the overly complicated in their curriculum – it is in their interested to do so – but they are just concealing the overly expensive by ‘adjusting’ an already expensive education system. The inconvenient truth is that we are mortal – make no mistake as Obama would say – the science is settled. But because we are all frightened of death they can sell us medicine at twice the price. Try that with cars, or washing machines. Medical tourism already exists and Americans need to prepare themselves to use it. Let Trump build his wall, Mexico, then build hospitals behind it.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The problem with the ‘it costs twice as much and we get worse outcomes’ is that you aren’t defining outcomes (survival after diagnosis from cancer, for instance?), and you aren’t comparing apples to apples. Scandinavians in MN have longer lifespans than Scandinavians in Sweden, for instance (the same is true for most identifiable ethnic groups), and generally better health by most measures. Americans are an incredibly diverse people, and though it is not very politically correct, if you break up the population into groups to compare with the European and Asian cousins, you find that the results are far less disparate than you might expect. The truth of the matter is that the horrifically bad health outcomes of African and Latin American populations (and there are many reasons for these, beyond crude racialism) tend to skew the aggregate numbers downwards. Another huge factor is not that the system is inherently inefficient, but that the labor costs are so high. Here Fat_Man’s point about the shortage of doctors is most useful, and both of you point out that the culprit is the AMA.

      It is hardly an accident that the two most heavily regulated parts of the economy, education and healthcare, are also the two least efficient and the two most expensive both in absolute dollars and in trends over the last few generations.

    • seattleoutcast

      I will argue over sprouts and steaks because many people with diabetes and other modern illnesses develop these diseases from poor nutrition. We see the rising rates of these diseases in the poorer communities because terrible food is so cheap. Cheap grains and sugars make up much of the diet of poor people. We would see incredible cost reductions simply by improving the food quality of certain sectors of the economy.

      What’s truly tragic is that food stamps now allow these terrible foods as permissible. (You can get a mega-sugar-dose latte at Starbucks with an EBT card. Thanks Obama!) I don’t prefer food stamps as the solution to helping poor people with nutrition. I’d rather discover the causes of the high prices for produce and meat instead.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service