…about how “real” dietary guidelines can work in the USA
Last week, Dr. Michael Greger posted a video (see below) that inspired this blog. He started out by asking why we even care what the official U.S. dietary guidelines are? The answer was that they actually can work—if they are based on the truth about nutrition.
He then illustrated his point by telling a well-researched story about what happened in Finland once they got serious about reducing the causes of heart disease for the general public. One such effort was called the “Berry Project,” and was designed to help farmers convert from dairy farming to berry farming. From dairies to berries, if you will.
The project produced incredibly remarkable results—reducing cardiac death by 80% and other death causes by 45%—throughout the entire country. Dr. Greger explains all of this in the 2-minute video shown here.
His point at the end was that the USA has now become the world leader in heart disease—due in part to our nation’s failure to adopt real, health-promoting dietary guidelines. Just think what would happen if we followed Finland’s lead and told all our citizens how to promote health with their food choices.
Dr. Michael Greger — on Nutritionfacts.org
What about businesses? If our government won’t publish those real guidelines, then maybe the CEOs of America can tackle our crippling healthcare problem with a different approach. The CEOs of all large businesses have a powerful financial incentive for their employees to be healthy—and that incentive keeps getting more powerful.
An integral part of helping employees become healthy is for the business leaders to invest in health-promoting dietary education for everyone who works for them. By publishing real dietary guidelines within the business, the employees will be able to hear this “controversial” information from someone they trust—their senior management team that has an incentive for them to be healthy.
The Bottom Line. More reasons for success in businesses. In addition to publishing the real dietary guidelines, I can think of five more reasons why the plant-based food component of “corporate wellness” has great chances for success:
- Education. Paid for by the company and delivered on company time.
- Leadership. Senior executives who are strongly emphasizing the crucial importance of a healthy diet when it comes to promoting health.
- Peer Support. All interested employees can be assigned to small teams for 3 to 5 people and will provide help, support and follow up for each other. They will be accountable to individuals in their workplace—other than their bosses.
- Incentives. The senior leaders are always in a position to make it attractive to adopt a healthier diet. These incentives can be financial and/or they can offer recognition or special privileges for people who get healthy.
- GREEN. Almost all companies have a green initiative these days—and want to be considered GREEN by the public. By publicizing the fact that eating whole plants is by far the single most powerful step that we all can take to preserve our environment and conserve our finite limited natural resources—the company can be a true leader in this important arena.
- Source video at nutritionfacts.org Dietary Guidelines: From Dairies to Berries | NutritionFacts.org.
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation