CCMS Medicine Summer 2017 - 19

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Regarding health care costs, it is undeniable that treating the
symptom-consequences of the diabetes epidemic with drugs and
insulin is unsustainable. Treating the symptom and not the root
cause robs people of the opportunity to reclaim their health.
Patients want their physicians to know nutrition; they want
guidance and ask for it all the time. We cannot abandon them to
for- profit companies offering supplements in lieu of food or to
those promising we can "have our cake and eat it too."
Up to 80% of chronic diseases can be prevented with food
and lifestyle. We know too much to not prescribe food as
medicine. Although it is not essential that doctors and nurses
practice what they preach, patients benefit from our lifestyles. It
takes me little time to share practical tips on shopping, cooking,
and cost in the course of a medical visit, all grounded in my
personal experience.
Regarding the above six-week project, meeting as a group
reinforced learning and supported change. Some participants
really got it - now saying they are not on a diet, but instead
that they have found a new way to eat, one that is delicious,
nourishing, and satisfying. You can say these people have
embarked on a change of lifestyle that will spread to families,
friends, and community.
For others, the predominant diet of processed foods, meats,
and dairy products - which led to weight gain and insulin
resistance - proved more difficult to ignore. These foods are
known to exert powerful influence over our pleasure centers in
the brain, triggering endorphins that keep us wanting more. Plus
eating whole plant food is not customary for many people these
days, so simply eliminating their usual fare leaves them with not
much to fall back on - hence the importance of group cooking
workshops.
Make no mistake, significantly changing one's diet involves
hard work - and simply wanting to make a change does not
immediately lead to positive action. If you want examples of
what is known as the "intention-behavior gap" - look no further
than to those short-lived new year's resolutions. Consciously
dismantling any barriers we have to change and discovering
durable strong personal motivations are integral to success. The
fact that a few people changed in a short time should not be used
to measure the success of this project. Instead it should motivate
us to make it sustainable, so that each person can work through
the process with the support they need.
The good news: results motivate behaviors that continue
to yield more positive results - and one need not wait long. By
supporting this project, The Clinic in Phoenixville is assuming a
leading role in population health. An increasing number
of colleagues and clinics are successfully incorporating
lifestyle medicine into their practices - join us.

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P.S.
I could not close this article without mentioning that we
should be alarmed by what we allow children to be fed in school.
If this is not corrected soon, we will be chasing after chronic
illnesses for a long time.
Ana M. Negrón, M.D.
Author of Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health:
The Positive Science of Food - Sunstone Press. Dr.
Negrón is a Board Certified Family Physician, owns
a nutrition solo practice in Haverford and Paoli,
volunteers at The Clinic in Phoenixville, is part of the
faculty at Crozer Family Medicine Residency, and a
member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine and the Society of Medical Graduates from
the University of Puerto Rico.

SUMMER 2017 | CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine 19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCMS Medicine Summer 2017

CCMS Medicine Summer 2017 - 1
CCMS Medicine Summer 2017 - 2
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