Remembering Kevin Moore

We Don't Have A Health Care Crisis In America; We Have A Preventative Disease Epidemic That Low-Carb Can Cure!

The debate over U.S. health care reform is hot right now, but is it necessary?

The battle over the best way to reform the health care system is arguably the most talked-about issue in America today. We can all agree that there are certainly a fair share of problems associated with the way things are being done in how health is insured, managed, and implemented in the United States right now, but what is the best solution? While lawmakers in Washington, DC debate the merits of a government-run health care system versus granting tax incentives to employers to help make it happen for those millions who are uninsured, I think there is a vital and arguably more important tertiary element to this conversation that is not being articulated all by any of the major health leaders of our day. What I’m talking about is preventative medicine through natural nutritional remedies that have been shown in scientific studies to improve most of the most costly and deadly diseases of our day!

Let’s examine three major illnesses that plague American health today:

1. HEART DISEASEOver 25 million Americans impacted
– Leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States
– Accounts for over 27 percent of deaths in America today
– Coronary heart disease responsible for 68 percent of all heart-related deaths
– Heart disease health care expected to cost over $304.6 billion in 2009
(These statistics appear on the Centers For Disease Control web site)

2. CANCEROver 2 million Americans impacted
– A total of 1,479,350 new cancer cases projected in 2009
– A total of 562,340 deaths from cancer projected in 2009
– Cancer incidence and death rates decreased slightly in latest statistics
– Cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in people under 85
(These statistics appeared in the Cancer Journal For Clinicians in May 2009)

3. DIABETES/PRE-DIABETESOver 80 million Americans impacted
– 8 percent of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes
– Nearly 6 million cases have been undiagnosed (one-fourth of cases)
– Another 57 million have pre-diabetes and insulin resistance issues
– Over 1.6 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in 2007
(These statistics appear on the American Diabetes Association web site)

Add to these grim statistics the significant incidences of obesity, arthritis, respiratory problems, and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and we’re talking about over HALF of the entire population of the United States of America walking around as a ticking time bomb with their health! NO WONDER HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL WHEN 1 OUT OF EVERY 2 PEOPLE ARE SICK! And the upward swing in these statistics doesn’t look very good heading into the next few decades either. What in the world are we supposed to do?

Reform is needed, but it should start with the individual’s lifestyle choices

Although a segment of the population believes in the libertarian principle that they should be able to eat and drink however they choose to without anyone telling them differently, the reality is those are the very people who have rationalized that their actions aren’t really harming anyone but themselves. Unfortunately, with the move in 2009 by President Obama and like-minded lawmakers in Congress to have the government take over the health care industry completely, we know just how foolish that thinking really is. The time for looking to the government or really anyone else besides ourselves to bail us out of our poor health decisions is over. Instead, we each need to individually deal with what should more aptly be described as a preventative disease epidemic that livin’ la vida low-carb has been shown to improve dramatically almost every time it is tried.

Let’s take a look at what low-carb does to help these health problems:

No long-term heart health issues with eating low-carb
High-fat, low-carb Inuit diet protects against heart disease
Low-carb improves HDL and triglycerides — better markers for heart health

Brain cancer tumors shrink on high-fat, low-carb diet
Full-fat dairy, meat reduces prostate cancer risk
High-carb consumption leads to kidney cancer

No-GI diet better than low-GI diet for controlling diabetes
Atkins diet best for treating diabetes
High-carb diet raises insulin and blood pressure

There is a wealth of research that has come out about the undeniable connection between low-carb nutrition and so many health conditions like blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, brain diseases, and more that I will be sharing in my upcoming book 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb. Anyone who argues that there just isn’t enough scientific evidence supporting the low-carb lifestyle will be amazed at all the studies that I packed into the pages of my book. It’s there for anyone willing to see it — now I’ve packaged it up all in one place to put it in the proper context. And this information is crucial to fixing the problems we are seeing with health care in America today.

If government and health leaders are truly interested in “fixing health care” and making it more affordable for all Americans, then we must get a grip on this aspect of the conversation. Pretending that we don’t know how we got into this mess in the first place is disingenuous and wrong. Encourage people to be more responsible for what they are doing for their health by offering tax incentives for being healthy and allow those who choose a “live it up” lifestyle to suffer the consequences of those actions when the inevitable occurs. You have a right to choose NOT to eat healthy, but you do not have a right to expect others to pay for your declining health that is sure to come as a result. Is it asking too much for people to be more responsible for their individual choices? I welcome your feedback on this.

  • I agree individuals have to accept responsibility for their choices. But I disagree with your proposal for government to offer tax incentives for being healthy. By whose definition? Would being “healthy” by governmental standards include low carb? If not, what is the next step? Maybe government would add an additional tax to red meat because it isn’t “healthy” according to its standards.

    At the very least, government should do no harm. And it should start by stop promoting low fat/high carb diets.

    I could not agree more and I have those same concerns. But my thinking on this is that people who CARE about their own health are the ones who are being held responsible for paying for those who DON’T. If there was some kind of incentive for being healthy (by whatever definition you want to apply to that term), then more people might actually work towards it. THANKS for your comment!


  • carla cannon

    A low carb diet will not stop people from breaking their bones, or have aneurysms, developing certain types of cancer or other accidents. Also fixing our food related health problems will take time, we need to reform our health care now and help our children now.

    Also by not helping people without insurance now, their lack of preventative care could exacerbate possible future pandemics.

    Though I agree lifestyle is important., we also need a strong FDA to keep in Corporate America from ruining our food supply (removing all the fat, feeding meat to herbivores, genetically modified foods, high fructose corn syrup etc etc etc.

    All true, Carla, but we’re not talking about the daily bumps and bruises that is sucking up all the health care dollars in this country. It’s the heart disease, cancer, and diabetes that is entirely preventable that is. That’s the point I was making in this column.


  • 2bluesky2

    I think you are right that the biggest health issue is not a lack of health care or health insurance, it is the absence of good health brought on by our own bad habits.

    The word “health” has been hijacked into the national debate, but promoting good health is not the objective. Even the term “preventative care” has been hijacked. “Preventative care” should mean that you do healthy things which help you avoid the need for treatments. Instead, the term has been hijacked to mean that you should get more and more sophisticated testing in order to determine which drugs or surgical treatment you should have.

    I don’t like the way health care debate is evolving. I fear the institutionalization of all that is bad about health practices: more drugs, more surgery, less good health.

    Semantics is everything.


  • Suzan

    Good post!

    If private health insurance were run like auto insurance, then healthy people would get better rates.

    Exactly! No accidents for me…lower rates please! 🙂


  • Mark Wilcox

    If you want science to rule the day – then you want to get people to pay for their own insurance and health care.
    Otherwise we’ll just get more low-fat crap because that’s whose lobby is bigger.

    Sad but true, Mark.


  • Alejo Hausner

    Interesting ideas, Jimmy.

    However, I don’t think that tax rebates would benefit the people who need low-carb the most: the poor. They pay little or no tax, so they wouldn’t get a meaningful rebate (not to mention having to wait 12 months for a tax rebate when you can barely pay this month’s rent). Obesity and diabetes is especially prevalent among the poor, so low-carb would probably help them. However, low-carb is relatively expensive: how much hamburger, chicken, and fresh vegetables can you get for the price of a big bag of rice or beans or a pile of spaghetti? Say what you like about carbohydrates, you can get certainly get lots of cheap calories from them. Poor people do indeed get enough calories, but they’re mostly cheap calories: starch and sugar.

    If you argue that food isn’t expensive, I would make the safe bet that you belong to the middle class, and that food is not a huge part of your budget. If your main source of income is a Walmart job, you’re probably spending more than half your income on rent, and have little left over for nutritious food.

    Now I’ll climb on and even taller soapbox.

    I realize you deliberately avoided making this an argument for or against socialized medicine itself, but just for the record I think that the way health care is paid for here in the USA is abysmal and terribly unfair. I’m Canadian, and I sure do miss the high taxes we all chipped in with, so that everyone, including the poor, could get decent medical treatment. The American system strikes me as essentially selfish and, dare I say it, uncharitable. Were I a religious person, I would say it was un-Christian.

    And now I’ll get off the soapbox.


    THANKS for sharing your opinions, Alejo. Yes, I purposely avoided the traditional arguments in the health care debate because they would be irrelevant if some prevention was put in place. That was the essence of what I wrote about in this column.


  • Jeaner

    I think you’re right. I’ve been saying lately that we need to be responsible for our own health through good healthy choices. I fear, as another of the folks that commented on this that if the government runs health care that we, who choose to eat low carb could be told we’re not eating right, and because of it possibly be denied if we did have some sort of health issue come up. After all, look at the food pyramid. We’re doing it all wrong, aren’t we? Even if our blood work proves differently. I’m with you, it’s prevention and I see so many people who could benefit but aren’t interested. Sad, isn’t it?

    Sad indeed. And I share your concerns about the government or any other interest group telling me that my high-fat, low-carb foods are doing anything but making me the incredibly healthy man that I am. There is a way to do this without getting the government involved where they don’t belong.


  • Bob

    As a country we need to do better in promoting low-carb diets and physical exercise. There are many of our fellow citizens, however, who live healthy lifestyles that nevertheless contract disease or become involved in accidents who can no longer get health insurance. There is something fundamentally wrong with this and other aspects of our money-driven health care system.

    I’ll grant the fact that there are people who get sick or injured that NEED health care to be affordable for them. But if we reduced the amount of money spent on all of these preventable diseases like I outlined in this column, then there will be PLENTY of opportunities for health care to be administered to those who have an acute illness. Yes, a lot of medical professionals will no longer be needed, but isn’t that a good thing?


  • ethyl d

    Isn’t it interesting that the diet the government recommends that we eat is the very diet that opens the door for all these diseases they want to bleed us dry to pay for?

    Ironic, really. Or is it conspiracy… 😀


  • Wait a sec here — healthy people do get lower rates, that’s why sick people can’t afford health insurance. The problem is that not every illness can be controlled by lifestyle choices — many people get sick or have an accident even though they were eating right and exercising.

    Also, eating low carb is great. I love it and feel much better when I eat this way, but it’s very expensive. For the “working poor” or people on a fixed income it may be difficult to spend the extra money on food when you don’t have the money for rent or utilities. I know it’s worth it for your health, but many people have to make difficult choices and carbs are cheap!

    How about working for reform of farm subsidies so that farmers who want to grow healthy organic vegetables get some money rather than giving “welfare” to the farmers who grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and sugar?

    There’s a LOT of reform in a variety of industries that could help with this issue, Breena. Getting the pharmaceutical companies and government OUT of the day-to-day operations of health care will go a long way towards reforming health care.


  • I find it hard to have what I feel is an informed point of view on this. I am based in the UK so am accustomed to the philosophy of free healthcare to all. But I don’t like the fact that people do not have a sense of responsibilty for their actions because they know the state will pick up the tab. Conversely I insitinctively dislike the commercialisation of health – this is probably because of the pharmaceutical companies.

    So I have no answers or recommendations; but I do agree the idea of prevention through diet significantly impacting the economics of this decision should be given a higher profile. Sadly, I suspect we are 5-10 years away from this no-brainer permeating the viscous layers of self-interest, professional vanity and intellectual laziness.

    Well said Methuselah! You have more faith than I do thinking it will happen in the next decade.


  • Dan (aka Renegadediabetic)

    I don’t like the current system with insurance company bean counters determining treatment. However, it’s not as bad a government bureaucrats determining treatment. The government is part of the problem here with its food pyramid and dietary dogma.

    “Prevention” will just mean more pressure to eat low fat, high carb and maintain government-madated cholesterol levels. We low carbers would be the “noncompliant” outcasts.

    You’re exactly right I’m afraid, Dan.


  • Mary-Clare

    The comments above clearly describe the problem. We have to work to change the USDA recommendations for health including their pyramid, fatphobic, carbphilic, low calorie, low-fat, high carb, exercise-until-you-drop advice, and total disregard for existing science. These mistake recommendations are promoted by the NIH and other government science organizations, physicians, nutritionists, huge medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic, the fitness and sports world, industry, the media, and all who promote Conventional Wisdom dogma.

    It took a legal battle in Sweden to turn things around. What will it take in the States? Can we stage a similar battle here?

    Scientific studies are so often biased. Financial support has to be impartial. How can you trust a study funded by the milk board, the sugar industry, and even Atkins nutritionals? Test groups have to be properly chosen. Too often they’re not given a real low carb diet, simply a diet lower than the other groups. Low-fat is promoted for all groups. Counseling intervention is far from impartial. Preconceived CW concepts are discussed and promoted while obvious low-carb conclusions are ignored. This is not real science where the scientist has an open skeptical mind set and fairly questions methods, data, past studies, and conclusions.

    These are the discussions we need to take public. What’s the use of discussing a “healthy diet” and taxing unhealthy life styles when the world favors CW, while ignoring good science? Our challenge is to change CW. Only then can we have a constructive talk about turning the Health Care Crisis into a discussion of preventive health.

    In the meantime, the millions of people without healthcare need help. The millions of unemployed can’t afford healthcare. They can’t be ignored. Sure, a tax system that helps small farmers get more affordable meat, cheese, eggs, and poultry to these people would be great, but this is a battle that will only be achievable when CW is changed.

  • John

    First I want to congratulate you on a great blog. The health care system sure needs some revamping as it does not really seem fair that those who keep healthy end up paying for those who could not be cared, but this approach does have a lot of valid arguments against it. It may be better if the government were to follow a different approach whereby they taxed the unhealthy foods such as Mc Donalds in the same manner as they tax cigarrettes and alcohol. The increased prices would convince people to seek a cheaper, healthier food source.

    Thank you John for your kind comments about my blog. Certainly the idea of a “sin” tax has been proposed and may somewhat discourage people from consuming in those kinds of foods. However, my concern with that would be if the government decides in their great wisdom that “high-fat foods” like meat, cheese, cream, etc. are suddenly “dangerous” for people to consume and they conclude these foods need to be taxed as well. A clear definition of what is healthy is in order before such taxes are implemented.


  • Marjorie

    Everyone who thinks we don’t need universal healthcare have do not have a debilitating acute or chronic illness that has sucked their savings dry and has caused them to possibly lose their home. Period. End of story.

    I have healthcare and I am healthy. However, that only works until I get very ill. To think that in the U.S., people can and often do lose their entire life savings AND lose their home because they got sick is disgusting.

    People who lose their jobs and therefore their health insurance put their life’ work and savings at risk.

    It is ridiculous that insurance companies are for profit and make a tidy profit off of insuring healthy people and turning away the sick. Everyone likes it until they get sick. Other industrialized countries don’t put their populaton at risk like that. Give me the Canadian health system. Their population likes it. Everyone can and does get healthcare. I have been there and don’t believe the scare stories manufactured by the insurance industry lobby.

    Give me univeral, government-run healthcare. I have parents on Medicare and they love it.

  • Paula

    There are so many things I could say about this subject….but…if you think that health care reform that drastically reduces the profit centers and influence builders that heart disease, cancer and diabetes are will ever fly, you have another thing coming. The American Heart Association, American Cancer Association and American Diabetes Association don’t really want those things to happen, because where would they be without them? Why do you think they so adamantly oppose low-carb diets? Because they’re not making any money from them, and stand to lose a tremendous amount of money and influence if we could dramatically reduce or eradicate them.

    We know the insurance and pharmaceutical companies have a profit motive to oppose reform of the current system, but these major associations get a pass because they’re nonprofits, filled with so-called experts, and supposedly trying to help those who are afflicted. But it’s just not true.

    If you take away the profit motive for insurance and pharmaceutical companies, then health care can get back to being about HEALTH. That’s why health care should be not-for-profit. The government has no business being involved at all, though.


  • Hi Jimmy,

    I don’t know if you saw Dr. Andrew Weill on CNN’s “Larry King” a couple of nights ago (Sept. 14th). His point was very similar to the one you’re making here: the health care system is obsessed with drugs, specialists, and expensive treatments, and a lot of expense could be saved by getting people to change their lifestyles. In particular, he advocated eating less carbs (he was one the few people speaking up for Gary Taubes in a previous group interview on the same show, an episode in which that nitwit Mehmet Oz looked particularly clueless).


    THANKS Alejo! Yes, Dr. Weil has been on the low-carb side for a while.