Monday, January 26, 2015

"Let thy food be thy medicine!---"- How true it is!

Though Socrates said 2000 years ago that "let thy food be thy medicine", the modern world does not want to have any thing to do with this famous "truth". How else we can explain the reckless living style people have adopted depending increasingly on a plethora of drugs churned out by the pharma industry for treating, ironically, the diseases caused by over eating, imbalanced eating and irregular eating? The recent report that the American population, about one third of them being obese, does not suffer from want of calories but is severely "malnourished" is indeed a shocking revelation. According to many health pundits if people are educated early enough the close linkage between food and health and if balanced foods are consumed regularly almost all diseases now raging in that country due to bad foods would not have been there! There is a strong view that it is time to think differently when it comes to dealing with the life style disorders which are eating into the vitals of American society and through better food and balanced diet only any future catastrophe can be avoided. Here is a commentary on this issue as put forward by one of the reputed surgeons who has a close ring side view about the health scenario unfolding in that country. 

"The number of people who are malnourished despite being obese is scandalous, a leading weight loss surgeon has said today. A recent study showed despite high levels of obesity in the U.S., many people are undernourished.  A diet of pizza, fries, crisps, pasta, rice, biscuits, cakes leaves many people consuming a lot of calories but few nutrients, says Dr Sally Norton, an NHS consultant specialising in weight loss and upper gastrointestinal surgery. The problem is exacerbated by coffee shops serving sugary and fatty drinks appearing in hospital foyers and junior doctors being given minimal training on nutrition. Drug companies push the sales of expensive drugs which treat the symptoms of the disease but not the cause, she says.Instead we should treat disease with nutrition, letting food be our medicine".

It is a tragedy of Himalayan proportion that the food environment in this so called "most powerful" country in the world is so vitiated that people are behaving like zombies rushing to wards food service joints serving most unhealthy foods offered by the latter rich in sugar, saturated fat, salt, carbohydrates and practically free from that vital food component, viz dietary fiber so necessary for maintaining good health. Modern generation has no clue regarding the advantages of whole cereals, unrefined flours, fruits, vegetables and other health protecting food materials. Blaming food industry.for churning out unhealthy foods will not take the country far, unless citizens assume more responsibility for their own health through scientific and rational food selection. The golden words of Socrates that "thy food is thy medicine" should be the "national icon" for the US for the next one decade if the current trend of over eating and wrong eating practices are to be reversed.


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