For starters, we need to educate our youth differently and provide them with information about nutrition and food options to inform their behavior. For example, while we know and appreciate the value of statins for controlling cholesterol levels it is also important to stress in our communications the link between foods that are high in cholesterol and their related health impact. These messages are just as important as those delivered to support for medical products.
In an earlier blog this week, I talked about the need for the healthcare industry to restore trust. One way to do this would be to aggressively promote nutrition as a central tenant of health and wellness. Don’t get me wrong, there are admirable efforts underway that stress the importance of a healthy diet for managing chronic disease. However, imagine how impactful it would be for the entire industry to come together, much like we saw in the early days of healthcare reform, in support of a national campaign on nutrition. I am sure, over time we would see a decrease in chronic diseases, decrease in weight and a decrease in heart disease.
The goal is not to reduce the usage of medications, there will always be a role for medications, but rather to increase awareness so that individuals can complement a treatment regiment with their own modified behavior and thereby achieve better health outcomes.
Chris Foster, chairman, US healthcare, Burson-Marsteller