The answer is not better health care

To the editor:

I read Saturday’s commentary, “Sick!” by Susan Hahn. While I understand where she’s coming from, Hahn misses the point entirely.

Has anyone bothered to ask themselves why Americans are so sick? Did you know that according to Jeff Hayes’ documentary “Doctored,” the United States represents 5 percent of the earth’s population, yet we manage to consume over 50 percent of all prescriptions written worldwide? And that according to a Mayo Clinic, June 19, 2013, newsletter, nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one drug, and more than half take two. Has anyone asked why?

As Americans, our diet is awful. Morgan Spurlock, of the commentary “Supersize Me,” said it well. We are sick for two reasons. First, our portion sizes have increased tremendously. Take a look at today’s dinner plates. Meat takes up more than three-quarters of the plate! And starches and vegetables are a few small handfuls. Do you know that we only need a meat serving to be the size of a deck of playing cards to get everything out of it? But who eats meat servings that small? And vegetables and starches provide necessary fiber for us that can prevent things like colon cancer. But our servings are too small to make a difference.

The second reason is that we eat too much junk and processed foods. Go into today’s grocery store, and most things are boxed and canned. In those boxes and cans are large amounts of salt, sugar, preservatives and worse. Displays are prominently placed so you’ll take home this stuff. And this food makes us fat and sick.

Many diseases today are on the rise. Why? Because of what we eat! Food manufacturers design processed food to be addicting, and it’s working. A serving size of soda used to be 6 ounces Today it’s 20 ounces! Everything has become “monster sized.” And the more junk we eat, the more we want.

T. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study,” said it well: “We could reduce our health care costs by 70 percent if we just watched what we ate.” Did you know that we can reverse such diseases as heart disease, diabetes and more simply by what we eat? And that we got those diseases in the first place by what we ate? Want to start your journey? Get back into the kitchen, and cook real food. Don’t bring home junk food because if it’s in the house, you’ll eat it. Stay away from white flour, and go after whole-wheat products. Learn to read labels, but better yet, purchase foods that don’t need labels, such as produce and starches.

Want to get educated? Read anything by doctors John McDougall, Joel Fuhrman, Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish and Michael Greger. THE ANSWER HERE IS NOT BETTER HEALTH CARE BUT HEALTHIER AMERICANS. If we continue to eat as we’ve done, no amount of health care will ever solve the problem. As Americans, we will continue to get fatter and sicker. Watch what you eat; it’s a matter of life and death.

Wendy Foley

Saranac Lake