We Can End the Heart Disease Epidemic
Dr. Michael Greger
May 9, 2014
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A landmark study in 1959 I profiled in my video Cavities and Coronaries: Our Choice, for example, suggested that coronary heart disease was practically non-existent among those eating traditional plant-based diets in Uganda. “Doctors in sub-Saharan Africa during the ‘30s and ‘40s recognized that certain diseases commonly seen in Western communities were rare in rural African peasants. This hearsay talk greeted any new doctor on arrival in Africa. Even the teaching manuals stated that diabetes, coronary heart disease, appendicitis, peptic ulcer, gallstones, hemorrhoids, and constipation were rare in African blacks who eat foods that contain many skins and fibers, such as beans and corn, and pass a bulky stool two or three times a day.” Surgeons noticed that the common acute abdominal emergencies in Western communities were virtually absent in rural African peasants.
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Dr. Burkitt sums it up with the analogy of The Cliff or The Ambulance: “If people are falling over the edge of a cliff and sustaining injuries, the problem could be dealt with by stationing ambulances at the bottom or erecting a fence at the top. Unfortunately, we put far too much effort into the provision of ambulances and far too little into the simple approach of erecting fences.” And of course there are all the industries enticing people to the edge, and profiting from pushing people off.
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What’s wrong with “the system”?
Too many vested crony capitalists who are incentivized NOT to solve the problem.
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