Managing “risk factors” and reducing “serving sizes”…

As we continue eating the wrong food.

Our entire health care system is based on managing risk factors and the party line for reducing our obesity problem is reducing serving sizes and caloric intake. Neither is ever going to work. Even worse, they both distract us from recognizing the primary driver of practically all of our health-related problems: we’re eating the wrong food.

“The bigger the pie, the more we get.”

The inspiration for this blog. I received a message from a reader offering me information about serving sizes around the world and how that is driving our obesity crisis. It was actually an attempt on his part to get my readers to visit his employer’s website—a health insurance company. That’s a huge red flag. Why?

Because the health insurance companies would be out of business if everyone got healthy. As an insurance rep explained to Dr. John McDougall long ago.

“You don’t understand the business. In the world of health care; we, the insurance company, get a piece of the pie. And the bigger the pie, the more we get.”

That one statement speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our health care system in this country. No one has a financial incentive for us to get healthy. The insurance business is all about risk. If there is no risk, then there is nothing to insure—and their reason for being simply disappears. The “pie” is our $2.7 trillion cost of health care in the USA.

Serving Sizes. So that’s why insurance companies spread around all the confusing information about serving sizes. They know that a confused consumer is a sick consumer and that’s what they need to make money. And as long as we’re eating the toxic western diet, asking people to reduce their serving sizes is simply not going to work. But it creates the illusion that the insurance companies are trying to help us get healthy.

Ten risk factors for “sleep apnea”

Managing risk factors. Within our vast medical system, the name of the game is managing risk factors, which oftentimes means taking prescription drugs to help keep your risk low for various diseases. The message that they want the consumer to hear is that if they control (or have none) all those risk factors, that they can continue to eat whatever they want.

In an earlier blog, I wrote about the fact that we now have 12,000 documented diseases. With an average of ten risk factors each, that means that all we need to do is keep track of 120,000 risk factors, watch our serving sizes and we’ll be fine. NOT. The simple fact is that all of this confusing information on every “disease specific” website in the world can be replaced by two words: Whole Plants.

If we simply shift to a diet of mostly whole plants, we’ll be able to eliminate two trillion dollars worth of our nation’s cost of health care. But that would mean the loss of about 20 million jobs; and of course our health insurance industry would shrink by 80 percent.

As for all those risk factors that we’re supposed to manage, our esteemed medical system doesn’t even tell us about the most dangerous risk factors of all. Example: the American Heart Association has a list of risk factors for heart disease on their website. Our toxic diet is not even among the top ten.

Do they not know that Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic has successfully reversed heart disease in over 95% of his patients? And the only thing he changed was their diet.

The Bottom Line. Our extended health care system (medical and insurance) is built on a foundation of confusion. And that maintains the status quo, which means a lot of money in their pockets. If we all get healthy, they’ll be out of business.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Managing “risk factors” and reducing “serving sizes”…

  1. Joe Mc says:

    Yes, keeping people in a state of ill health while managing their $ymptoms is where the money is… follow the money…

  2. ~Kyrena says:

    If the masses (no pun intended) are kept overweight, sick and confused – although their perception of selves is not of these conditions – they will always be slow and weak in mind and body and never able to uprise and become strong. Sad. But in the survival of the fittest category I know which side of the fence I will be on…the physically and mentally nimble 4leaf side!

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