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Fixin' Healthcare

Friday, September 30, 2011

Turkish Hummus With Yogurt

I don't often put recipes on this blog but that is a shortcoming in the consideration of promoting healthy lifestyles. Anyway, here is what looks like a good recipe that is good for you.

Too Much Medical Care

There are pressures to deliver too much medical care and not enough to promote good health and prevent disease. Sooner or later society will have to recognize the difference between health care and medical care and design communities to promote and develop primary prevention available to everyone as a low cost process of living.

Simple Solutions

Simple straight-forward solutions are often the best but capitalism, marketing, consumerism and regulations just cannot leave well enough alone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Locally Grown Food and Farmers Markets

Locally grown food, small-scale farmers and farmers markets are a trend across the country. Some corporations are assisting with the trend. Michelle Obama deserves credit for the energy and attention she brings with the Let's Move campaign. I agree that tailoring the Food Stamp program would be beneficial in many ways. Should Food Stamps be utilized for sodas? I think not.

Antibiotic Resistant Infections

Infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics are a major problem. This article is the first proposal I have seen that proposes the problem be addressed by means of a business model. It seems everything theses days involves or is related to a business model. Oh, well.   

Community Transformation Grants

HHS announces $103 million for a Community Transformation Grant program. The purpose of the grants is to change the way communities promote health. Smoking cessation, healthy eating, physical activity and disease prevention are emphasized. I agree with Ken Thorpe that this is a step in the right direction for building community infrastructure for prevention.


This site gives a good review of obesity with excellent graphics to illustrate the problem.

Exercise and the Brain

Exercise develops the mitochondria in the brain as well as muscle. Regular, frequent, aerobic exercise of moderate or more intensity might just rank at the top of the health scale. Those who engage in such exercise will be inclined to eat better, cease smoking (if they are smokers) and sleep better.  

Obesity and Smoking

This article compares the public health effort to reduce smoking with reducing the consumption of junk food. No doubt, obesity is a much more complex problem than smoking. The campaign to stop smoking has not been completely successful but it is a good start and the momentum can be helpful to obesity. Both problems will be well served by sustained, comprehensive community efforts. Make no mistake, however, successful programs for smoking and obesity will change the community and the health system in ways we can hardly imagine. I have to believe it can be done. The struggle will be immense and prolonged.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vitamin B12

In general, supplements cannot compensate for a good diet consisting primarily of plant-based whole foods. However, if a deficiency is found, it should be addressed. A study published in the journal Neurology reveals that low blood levels of vitamin B12 is associated with decreased brain size and reduced cognitive ability. Low B12 may be associated with a vegetarian diet, older age, anti-acid medications and the medication metformin.

Coffee Helps With Depression

"Ounce for ounce coffee delivers the strongest dose of caffeine." A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that, "generally, the more caffeine a woman drank, the more likely she was to be in good mental health."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Biker's Lung

A study in London reveals that bike commuters inhale more than twice as many carbon particles as pedestrians who make a comparable trip. Inhaled particulate matter, especially small particles, is associated with lung and heart disease. Maybe the Asians who wear surgical masks during their day out in the city have the right idea. 

Climate Change and Health

This article discusses seven ways that climate change influences health. None of them are good.

Preventable Deaths

My message is the development and widespread use of health care consisting of health promotion and disease prevention coupled with the appropriate use of medical care; both working together. Recent data shows the U.S. lagging 16 other high income countries in the incidence of preventable deaths. This speaks to the need for a health system that prevents health problems plus identifies and treats health problems. We have a long way to go.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Public and Community Health

Friends, Americans, patients, come lend me your ears:
I come to defend medical care, not to praise it.

I defend medical care from criticism and attack. The defense is justified because medical care saves lives of the sick and injured. I cannot praise medical care due to its low capability to cure disease. Because we expect more from medical care than we should and neglect health care, the consequence is promotion of sickness and development of medical care as a business enterprise. But medical care is not health care. Health care would balance the health system and gradually reduce the need for medical care. The focus on health promotion and disease prevention provides a goal of good health. Medical care would continue to be available, if necessary, and expensive but it would be the alternative not the goal.

The Culture of Food

This article outlines nicely the culture of food and the excuses used to support it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New York City

The future of better health involves health promotion and primary prevention of disease. This is public health and it will be best implemented at the community level. There are communities across the United States proceeding with this effort. Mayor Bloomberg and New York City deserve credit for pioneering this field of endeavor. It was not always easy.

If anyone knows of similar efforts in their community, I would appreciate receiving information about the project.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time Banks

Time banks are a local method for people to share services. This article discusses some health benefits of time banks. What with the state of the economy and the high cost of medical care, time banks just might be a way to moderate both problems at the margin. It would be a way to promote more community involvement in health promotion and prevention.

Level of Physical Fitness

Moderate exercise on a regular basis is good for health but the level of fitness depends upon the intensity of the exercise. The level of fitness involves cardiopulmonary capacity and muscle strength.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No One Said It Would Be Easy

The health of individuals is enabled by the knowledge, attitude and determination of the community to support healthy lifestyles. Medical care can support people who suffer with chronic metabolic diseases but it cannot cure these problems. The result is ever greater expense plus limited potential and quality of life for individuals. Public health is the most basic issue facing the world today. It can prevent and reverse many of these health problems. The "Age of Elves" has passed and the "Age of Man" has come. It remains to be seen whether "Man" is up to the task. That means me and you.

Community Is the Key To Health

Across the United States communities are organizing to address the health of the people who live there. There is a sound basis to this effort. Much needs to be learned and the task will be difficult. The reward is better health and greater potential for individuals and the communities. Health is a community affair. It can be good or bad depending upon the attitude of the community and the will to follow through.

Will Power

Do thin people have more will power to resist fattening food than obese people? Brain scans reveal that may be the case. But I refuse to believe that is destiny. It requires more work and better support from the community, friends and family, and it can be done. Public health needs to move front and center for individuals and the community to achieve better health.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Like the Old Days

Physicians have often found ways to treat patients without health insurance. However, belonging to a group practice and/or a hospital network interferes with the practice of free care and reduced fees. On the other hand, group practices and hospital networks have staff dedicated to financial operations who can assist in finding financial support for health care. Many people are eligible for insurance coverage but don't know about it or have not completed the process for coverage. All in all, it is a complicated issue and like medicine and health involves human behavior. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Facing Death

Who could ever know what facing death is like until facing death? But it will come to all of us one day and if there is time to contemplate, the thoughts might provide some degree of comfort and dignity. Writing those thoughts might allow that final stage of life to become one of change and growth. I am intrigued by the report of Dignity Therapy For the Dying. Over the ages many people have written their final thoughts but this is a way to assist with that task should someone chose to do so. 

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Source

Among the complex situations that have become problems for the United States, none surpass health and health care. There are many reasons this occurred but topping the list is lack of understanding for the situation and mismanaging the problem. Health is the issue but it was ignored to focus upon sickness. The continuing and increasing focus upon sickness elevated medical care above health care to eventually and inevitably result in stalemate with chronic disease, increasing cost and deteriorating health status. Lack of understanding for health and lack of appreciation for health care surrenders lifestyle to a culture that fosters unhealthy habits and does little to promote health. The culture and unhealthy lifestyles reinforce each other and, in turn, impact the national economy, the environment and climate. Medical care reform will not relieve this situation or solve the problems but communities across the country are initiating projects to promote health at the local level. Look there for changed mind-sets and new vision to develop and implement programs for better health.