The importance of proper diet is something that physicians tell us about all the time. Most of us don’t entirely listen, but there are reasons for which they lecture about these things. Many forms of traditional medicine actually emphasize the importance of diet a lot more than modernized western medicine.
A recent study done by the University of North Carolina shows some very interesting results, and gives us an idea of just how important a person’s diet is to overall health. The study, conducted by a team working under Dr. Seth Berkowitz, was initially meant to be an evaluation of a social program in the Boston area. This program was instituted to provide and deliver healthy food to the homes of people with serious medical conditions.
The idea behind the program was simple. While a person is in the hospital, their meals are usually tailored to their nutritional needs. Medical professionals have found that giving people the right nutrients can help to speed up their recovery time. But, once the patient leaves the hospital and goes home, their diet will likely not be as good or as rich in nutrients. The theory was that people would have less need to go to the doctor if they ate right on a regular basis.
And so far, the program has apparently been a success. The UNC study concluded that, not only did the healthy meal delivery program result in better health for those studied, it also reduced their need to go to the doctor as often. In this way, it lowered healthcare costs simply by giving people healthy meals.
Some would look at this and say that it is an argument for the institution of this program on a national level, so that all states and jurisdictions can benefit from it. However, I would look at it as a reason to address the sorry state of most mass-produced food. The success of this program conclusively shows that the standard American diet is not rich enough in nutrients to provide optimal health. A good article about this study and its results can be found here: http://www.wral.com/study-delivering-meals-tailored-to-meet-medical-needs-cuts-health-costs/17500811/
Although it doesn’t address the root of the problem, this program does seem to be a good thing. Many people with medical conditions require very specific diets which can be bothersome or expensive, especially if the patient does not have a lot of money. Also, some people just don’t have the discipline to stick to a diet on their own. Until the root of the problem can be addressed, this isn’t a bad place to start.