They may not know that it does not , and may warn you against eating such a high-fat food! On the other hand, ask your holistic nutritionist, acupuncturist, naturopath or functional doctor, and chances are they will wax poetic about what a wonderful source of healthy fat and nutrition that it is . They may even advise you to eat an avocado every day (which I try to do)! Big difference, huh? Which brings us to the subject of today’s post, which is our Medical Industrial Complex’s knowledge about, and support of, wholesome nutrition. Warning: hang on to your socks because this is going to be a wild ride!
First, let’s discuss the lusty affair between Big Pharma and our doctors
I sourced the excerpt below from a Magnum Opus on the subject written by Steven Carney, the entirety of which can be seen on his website:
You probably know that our medical system is the most corrupt medical system money can buy. I’ve detailed many of the corrupt deals that go on between our government and big business. But it goes far beyond the Big Pharma-owned FDA. It extends right into the academic white ivory towers. So even the education our up-and-coming doctors receive is corrupt.
Now ponder this quote from Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), from an article on Sott.net called, Big Pharma, Bad Medicine: How Corporate Dollars Corrupt Research and Education, about industry and medical education (see link in post for full content):
Conflicts of interest are equally troubling in medical education, where industry influence is perhaps greatest and least justified. The pharmaceutical industry devotes much, if not most, of its vast marketing budget to what it calls the “education” of doctors. The reason is obvious: doctors write the prescriptions, so they need to be won over.
And here is an insightful quote from Dr. Nick Campos, summarizing a study about drug marketing to medical students (see link in post for more details):
Researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed published studies that included a total of 9,850 students at 76 medical schools in the United States. The investigators found that most of the students had some type of interaction with drug companies and that this contact increased during the clinical years, with up to 90% of clinical students receiving some form of marketing materials from drug makers.
Here is another troubling quote from Dr. Marcia Angell, again on Sott.net, as she exposes industry marketing activities masquerading as Continuing Medical Education/CME (see link below for more shocking revelations about drug research, education and corrupt practices. I broke quote into 2 paragraphs for easier reading):
One of the most flagrant examples of the merging of education and marketing is Pri-Med, which is owned by M/C Communications, one of the largest of the medical-education companies. In partnership with Harvard Medical School, Pri-Med provides CME conferences throughout the country at virtually no cost to those who attend, courtesy of the huge income it receives from industry sponsors.
The programs feature industry-prepared symposia during free meals, as well as academic talks by faculty during the rest of the day. The two types of talks are listed separately, but take place at the same meeting, where there is also a gigantic exhibit hall for industry sponsors. The Harvard name and logo figure prominently in Pri-Med’s advertising and at the conferences, in return for which Harvard Medical School receives direct income, as well as payments to participating faculty.
Sounds downright steamy, yes, with lots of money and favors changing hands? And do you think our medical faculty and future doctors gallivant around on costly junkets sponsored by nutritionists, acupuncturists, and naturopaths? Well, no, because they don’t have millions in profits from patented drugs to blow on indoctrination parties. Hence, our doctors are woefully ignorant of these effective healing modalities. Guess who suffers the consequences of this dysfunctional system?
Now let’s discuss Big Lie #1 : Doctors study nutrition
This is one of 5 Big Medical Lies that Steve documents in his post. Please check it out for all of the details because it is enlightening, to say the least. Here are a couple of salient points:
Most people think that doctors study nutrition, a field basic to human health and wellness (remember, we all have to fight cancer with our immune systems daily, and we need to replace about a billion cells every hour). But the vast majority of doctors don’t study nutrition in school, as the following quotes will demonstrate. In fact, doctors aren’t educated in a wide range of health-related areas, from nutrition and exercise, to fitness, disease prevention, improving immune function, lifestyle modification, etc., all areas that form the very foundation of health!
Why does that matter? Read this 2009 quote from Science Daily News, showing that most chronic disease (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc.), is preventable through lifestyle modification, based on a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine (see link in post for more details):
Cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes—chronic diseases that together account for most deaths—are largely preventable, according to background information in the article. “An impressive body of research has implicated modifiable lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity, diet and body weight in the causes of these diseases,” the authors write.
And these 2012 quotes, from an article by Lola Butcher on the Modern Healthcare site, again showing that lifestyle drives chronic disease, even as doctors get no education in lifestyle modification (see link in post for full details):
Dr. Dexter Shurney, medical director of the employee health plan for Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, considers lifestyle medicine to be the antidote to America’s healthcare cost crisis. Chronic diseases drive about two-thirds of a plan’s costs, he says, and at least 75% of chronic diseases are preventable.
“There’s a whole science on health behavior change and why we do what we do,” he says. “And physicians have zero training in it, and they are typically terrible at it. And the (healthcare) system makes them terrible at it in giving them only five or 10 minutes with a patient. You can’t do anything significantly productive in five or 10 minutes.”
. . .”If your system is just pills and procedures to treat consequences and never treat the causes (of chronic disease), it’s never going to work—I don’t care how efficient you get.”
So if research shows 70-80% of most diseases are preventable, why aren’t more Americans being educated and coached in the areas of nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and prevention? That would save millions of lives and billions in wasted costs? Why aren’t these critical, life-saving, cost-effective approaches the real focus of medicine and medical education?
Why? Well $$$ of course!! No one makes money off of healthy people; money is made from patented drugs (the more per patient the better!) and surgeries (the more per patient the better!), so an obese and ill population serves Big Food and Big Pharma, their executives, and the politicians they own, quite nicely.
I am currently reading T. Colin Campbell’s 2013 book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition . In the introduction, he outlines the issues with the medical community embracing wholesome nutrition, such as the plant-based diet described in The China Study, for which he was a co-author. Note that I am not advocating a plant-based diet because personally, I eat more protein and fat than he recommends. However, he raises the following valid points about the medical establishment’s resistance to the notion that good nutrition is fundamental to good health and disease prevention:
The medical and scientific research establishments, far from embracing these findings, have systematically dismissed or even suppressed them.
Few medical professionals are aware that our food choices can be far more effective shields against disease than the pills they prescribe.
Few health journalists report the unambiguous good news about radiant health and disease prevention through diet.
Few scientists are trained to look at the “big picture”, and instead specialize in scrutinizing single drops of data instead of comprehending meaningful rivers of wisdom.
And paying the piper and calling the tune for all of them are the pharmaceutical and food industries, which are trying to convince us that salvation can be found in a pill or an enriched snack food made from plant fragments and artificial ingredients.
That’s why this new book felt necessary. The China Study focused on the evidence that tells us the whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest human diet. Whole focuses on why it’s been so hard to bring that evidence to light – and what still needs to happen for real change to take place.
Campbell calls Part I of his book Enslaved by the System. I’d say that is a very apt title because the Medical Industrial Complex is so pervasive and prone to fear mongering that it can feel like we are trapped with no recourse. However, in reality, we all have free will, the ability to learn about other alternatives and to choose a better path. When it comes down to it, they need us more than we need them. As soon as we, en masse, begin making choices which really serve our health and wellbeing, they will lose their financial might and ability to control our lives. This is the raison d’être for W Cubed – showing the way out of this bullshit, destructive system that benefits the few and into a place of deep, sustained health for mind, body and spirit that serves everyone. Grab an avocado and join us! 🙂
 Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, T. Colin Campbell, PhD with Howard Jacobson, PhD, BenBella Books, Inc. 2013.