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Compiled by Angela McIntosh and Dr. Robert McIntosh, MD
Nutrition Bites for March 30th,
Nutrition Bites for April 20th,
The CHIP program offers an amazing public health
program that has been successfully used
by public health, corporations, and even whole
communities around the world to teach people how to reverse
the lifestyle habits that are leading to an epidemic of obesity,
suffering and ill-health which is a tremendous financial strain on personal and
public pocket books. CHIP founder,
Dr. Hans Diehl, Phd, clinical epidemiologist, was inspired by his friend, renowned
Dr. Dennis Burkitt, of Burkitt's lymphoma fame. Dr. Burkitt spent his life
making the connection between diet and illness while working in
South Africa. He likened
our health care system to
one where we place an ever longer stream of high tech ambulances
at the bottom of a
cliff to pick up the injured people who've fallen over the edge
rather than putting a fence up at the top to prevent people
from falling in the first place. A CHIP program taught in schools
and offered in communities could do more to reform our spiralling health care
costs and painful, life-threatening suffering than all of the money
in the world
thrown at wait-lists, new technologies, and drugs.
There is an excellent write-up about the successful
implementation of CHIP in several communities which
are listed under news in the CHIP
website and reported in this
article in the local Rockford
This year the Globe and Mail ran an article on what is becoming
one of the biggest threats to the major US auto corporations.
You guessed it--the mounting costs of health care for
their aging employees who are getting sicker and sicker at younger
and younger ages, just like the rest of the North American population.
In America an employee's healthcare insurance is picked up by their employer.
Who is picking up the costs of our employees' ill health in Canada?
Tax payers ofcourse. We are all footing the bill for our universal
care and poor lifestyle habits. It wouldn't be surprising to find
out that big American auto multinationals are trying to figure out
how they can
move their manufacturing north of the border
so that they don't have to pay for escalating health
care costs. Or, what if the Americans are planning
to take us to the
courts over the "subsidy" our government is providing Canadian
corporations by allowing employees to use our
publicly funded health care system.
We would hate to see the
end of our universal health care because of American business.
Wouldn't it be tragic if Canadians lost their homes when
they get sick as Americans do or were denied healthcare when they develop a chronic illness that
is too costly for the private health insurers to want to pay for?
Have you ever experienced the shock of getting ill out of country and
having to visit
an American hospital? Paying $8,000 US upfront for
an out of country hospital visit or short stay
is bad enough
even when you know that your extended travel medical plan will
reimbourse you for the expenses
when you get home. Imagine being faced with bills for hundreds
of thousands of dollars? This is something that
happens every day in the US.
It is time we take steps to get healthier
so we don't further escalate
the inevitible costs of our bank-breaking healthcare and save
the money for health
care for costs that we cannot avoid through lifestyle improvement
and for making health-care universally accessible to all people,
like for those
in the North or in smaller communities who have
lost their hospitals and extended care homes.
The CHIP program has been run for several years in our community of Penticton by
a group of dedicated volunteers from a local church
and interested members of the community. There
was also a CHIP program that ran for several years out of Whitehorse,
NWT and was funded by the government or their community health
program. Wouldn't it be nice if programs such as this could be
funded by money from the government and run in communities, in our schools to educate our kids
before it is too late, and even in
our universities to train
nurses, doctors, and public health administrators about a
low tech way to improve health and reduce the bottom line?
We can all be making the lifestyle improvements that include the healthy
plant-based diet as recommended by
Dr.T.Colin Campbell Phd,
Caldwell Esselstyn Jr,MD, and
Dr. John McDougall, MD,
Internal Medicine Specialist.
Wouldn't you like to save your own money so that we might
all have a future that
includes a good healthcare system?
How about having some provincial and federal budget
money left over for the education
of the next generation, perhaps some economic development
or aid for others in need and what about all of the money we need
to seniors care as all of us baby boomers hit the golden years?
We must all make a difference by
adopting healthier lifestyles.
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