Calling All Doctors Who Are Ready to Put an End to Diet-Related Illness
Updated: May 10, 2018
Picture this: it’s 8pm and you’ve seen 22 patients today. 18 of them suffered from diet and lifestyle-related illnesses. You spent more time dealing with the EMR system and fighting with administration than seeing the patients who need you. You barely had time to eat, so you grab a crispy-chicken sandwich from the cafeteria - the only place open by the time you leave.
Now picture this happening everyday. You probably don't have to stretch your imagination too far. That story is all too familiar for so many doctors.
Seeing sick, overweight, hypertensive and stressed people day-in and day-out is exhausting and frustrating. On top of everything else you're responsible for, it's particularly maddening because you know most patients could be living normal, healthy lives if just a few changes were made.
The most obvious of which is their food environment.
Imagine how much easier your job would be if your patients only had nutritious food options in fast food outlets and convenience stores. No more food swamps where the majority of food outlets sell high-calorie junk food and no more food deserts where communities just don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. No more children getting hooked on chicken nuggets. No more adults over consuming cheeseburgers. No more late night cafeteria chicken sandwiches for you.
You wouldn’t lose sleep over the number of preventable heart attacks you see each week. You wouldn’t worry that your commitment to your patients’ health is undermined by the hospital cafeteria. You would, however, have faith your patients' health will improve because all the systems are aligned to help them.
I doubt anyone would be surprised to learn that since you began your practice many years ago, the patients you see are sicker and more medicated than ever before. And let's be honest, the problem is only worsening.
Over fifty years ago, the Tobacco industry sat exactly where Big Food sits today. It took more than 40 years and 7000 research articles for the Surgeon General to issue a warning against smoking in 1964. How many more years and how many more studies do we need before we get rid of disease-causing food in our hospitals, schools and communities?
How many more people have to die before we stand up and demand Big Food be held accountable for serving known disease-causing foods?
How much more satisfying would your career be if you weren’t constantly fighting the rising health barriers of diet-related diseases? Instead of talking about Type II diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, imagine if you spent your days finding ways to help your patients maximize their joy and wellbeing in life.
You deserve better. Your patients deserve better. And they’re depending on you to help change the system.
It's time to change the conversation in our healthcare system. Now is the time to advocate for both individual AND institutional change. Until everyone steps up and demands healthier foods, our communities will only get sicker - and your job will only get harder.
If you want to get involved creating systems-level change, now is the perfect time. I'm here to help. The entire team at Balanced is here to help. If your hospital or healthcare facility cafeteria needs a menu revamp, reach out and let's make it easier to live longer and live better.
For partnership opportunities or to learn about campaigning for change in your healthcare facility, email firstname.lastname@example.org.