This document describes the evolution of our 4Leaf, food-based wellness approach—from first learning about the critical importance of our food choices in 2003 to developing the 4Leaf eating model in 2009, publishing my first book, Healthy Eating, Healthy World in 2011, creating the 4Leaf Survey in 2012, joining the board of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in 2012, publishing my second book (with a medical doctor), the 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health in 2015 and conceptualizing the ARCH by 4Leaf interactive system for helping businesses lower the cost of healthcare in November of 2016.
I have come to believe that, without a doubt, the world’s business leaders are the only group of powerful people on the planet who have a huge financial incentive for hundreds of millions of people (their employees and their families) to get healthy. Conveniently, as those leaders take advantage of those financial incentives by actively helping their employees embrace a dietary lifestyle that has been proven to prevent or reverse chronic disease—they will simultaneously be leading the most powerful process in history when it comes to restoring the health of our precious ecosystem that sustains us all.
According to Global Footprint Network in 2016, if everyone lived like the average American, our planet could indefinitely sustain a population of just one billion people. With almost 7.5 billion people alive today, clearly we have our work cut out for us. And the single most powerful step that we can take right now is to urgently begin the process of moving the world’s population away from the highly wasteful and grossly unsustainable foods that we are eating today—meat, dairy, eggs and fish. We have concluded that the world’s business leaders are the ONLY people who can make this transition happen in time to save our civilization.
1. Background. As a career business executive and a strategy, leadership & process-improvemtent management consultant, I became abundantly confident in 2003 that our food choices in the 21st century represent the most important issue in the history of humanity. That conclusion came after I had spent about six months studying our global feeding model and then had my “blinding flash of the obvious” that we humans are EATING THE WRONG FOOD. Our typical western diet of some combination of meat, dairy, eggs, fish and highly processed foods at almost every meal—is terribly wrong for our health and is terribly wrong for the ecosystem that sustains us. All of this enlightenment led me to realize that I had stumbled upon the greatest process-improvement opportunity in history.
Knowing that up to 80% of our cost of healthcare ($3 trillion in the USA) was driven by our food choices, I quickly envisioned how the CEO of a corporation with 10,000 employees could easily save from $10 million to $50 million a year on the cost of healthcare for those people and their families. So, in 2009, with the help of a former CEO of XEROX, I documented our consulting assistance package and began looking for clients. Knowing that our envisioned approach would never work without the active buy-in from the top guy, I started looking for CEOs who would “catch the vision” and be the first in his/her industry to tame the healthcare monster in their company. Although we have been close a few times (once with a business with 90,000 employees), we’ve never signed up a corporate client for conducting the envisioned intervention described in this eleven page document. Comprehensive 4Leaf Health Promotion Approach (2012)
2. Fast-forward to ARCH by 4Leaf in 2016. After all these years, I concluded that we needed an easier way for CEOs to get started with the process of food-based, cost of health care reduction—a way that is much easier than the full-blown, culture changing, approach described in the “comprehensive” document above. That is the thinking that led me to conclude that our very own 4Leaf eating concept and 4Leaf Survey can be the centerpiece of a “system” that enables a CEO to get the food-based, health-promotion process started quickly. In short, we feel that our semi-automated ARCH by 4Leaf System can be the powerful tool that helps large employers better appreciate the potential benefits to their bottom line of promoting food-based wellness initiatives. Here is the one-page ARCH introduction: Introduction to ARCH by 4Leaf
3. Getting Started with ARCH. We believe that with very little management involvement, that a well-designed, strongly promoted, dynamic, interactive ARCH system can be effective at actually lowering the cost of health care. That said, we know that the savings will be much greater and will come much faster if all levels of management are involved, strong incentives are provided, and if a professional medical staff becomes a significant part of the effort. So all we need to get started is an endorsement from the CEO of our first client. That will enable us to launch the first phase, wherein we build the database that will include a record of all ARCH/employee communications and data such as 4Leaf scores, BMI, number of prescription drugs taken, etc. We expect to see these and other health indicators improve as the 4Leaf scores of the associates begin to rise. We describe the ARCH vision in this one-pager: One-page ARCH Vision Document
4. Why 4Leaf? Rather than focusing on what foods should be avoided, our 4Leaf eating concept places the primary emphasis on maximizing the consumption of the healthiest of foods—whole plants. We don’t use the “V” words to describe the recommended diet-style; we just talk about the huge health AND environmental benefits of eating mostly whole, plant-based foods. We also have the only (to our knowledge) creditable, quick method of estimating how close an individual is coming to eating an optimal diet. It is called the 4Leaf Survey and it can be completed online at 4leafsurvey.com in less than two minutes.
The survey quickly shows people where they lost points and how they can improve their score by adding more whole, plant-based foods to their routine meals. As for credibility, our survey has been taken over 100,000 times (with highly favorable ratings) around the world, is being used by dozens of medical doctors in their practices and has been used in the online plant-based nutrition course at Cornell since 2013. Check it out here: Take the 4Leaf Survey online at eCornell.
5. Conclusion. We know that our 4Leaf concept and 4Leaf Survey are helping many people promote their own health, save money, and lose weight. It is now time to unleash that power to millions of others who can make a huge difference in the bottom line of their business, the health of their associates and the future of our planet. Finally, here is my newly-created CV for health promotion consulting. JMH Wellness Consulting Credentials CV
6. A few more ARCH links:
- ARCH in a Nutshell Document (two-page document)
- ARCH Talking Points–Why It Will Work
- The standard English version of the 4Leaf Survey (one page)
Please contact me directly for more information.
J. Morris Hicks, CEO — 4Leaf Global, LLC — firstname.lastname@example.org — 917-399-9700