A new report out today from the Lancet  states that Britain’s health has fallen further behind other Western nations. This report is both a wake-up call and an opportunity for change. See http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60455-3/fulltext

There has been a lot of media coverage recently on the poor state of the public’s weight, diet and ill health.  The worrying statistic quoted was that by 2030 it was estimated that 40% of the adult population would be overweight.

A significant proportion of children would also weigh too much.

Since my stroke I have taken a slightly different angle on good health.  Before my stroke I would have said be fit & healthy, with a good BMI, (Body Mass Index) – essentially a good diet and plenty of regular exercise.  This will help reduce, but not guarantee, the chance of the onset of certain conditions so prevalent in the affluent Western world, such as cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, cancer, (some authorities estimate that over a third of cancers are diet related), cirrhosis of the liver.  Many of these conditions will result in premature death.

I now say to people – be fit and healthy because if anything does go wrong you are more likely to survive.  And if you do survive your recovery will be better.  Now I know that medics would not like what I am saying as it does not conform to the ideas of EBM (Evidence Based Medicine).  There has to be a sufficient amount of statistically relevant information before something is taken as a medical fact.  From the survival and recovery of my stroke and severe complications of 2008, I would qualify as “anecdotal evidence”.  However I would rather be alive and anecdotal evidence than dead and statically correct!

People need to take responsibility for their health – it is not just the responsibility of the healthcare system. Education of the population is essential.  We have had a very successful campaign over recent years to reduce the sale and use of cigarettes.  We need a similar approach to food, starting with youngsters and making them appreciate the value of eating well, so they grow into adults with a sensible dietary regime.

Promoting exercise and alcohol consumption is also important.  Fifteen years ago I went into the first school in Sturminster Marshall to give the children a cooking demonstration.  This was to cover a number of issues.  First it was good psychology – to show them a man doing cookery and talking about food preparation.  Second, being a vegetarian over the last three decades, I wanted to show that eating was not just about meat orientated meals.  Lastly, I wanted to make them realise that eating was not only the consumption of junk and fast food – taking raw ingredients and through preparation and cooking interesting, tasty and nutritious food could be made.

In The Clinic in Broadstone we have a number of therapists who can be helpful on diet related subjects.  We have just had Kathy Bell join us.  She is a lifestyle coach and dietician and will tailor a programme specific to the needs of the individual, whether to reduce weight, increase energy or deal with any particular health conditions.

We also have Sarah Burt, a naturopath who uses iridology in her consultations.  This is the analysis of the pupil, the colourful part around the black pupil.  By looking at the iris, a person’s level of health and specific areas of nutritional deficiency can be identified.  This allows appropriate action to be taken.  Sarah uses a range of interventions including homeopathic remedies, herbal tinctures, supplements as well as dietary changes.

For further information on diet please look at the therapies we offer under ‘Our Services’ or ‘Meet Our Therapists’  on the tool bar, or call ou reception team on 01202 692 493.