Imputed Health Hindrances
Contents in this issue:
- “Imputed Health Hindrances.”
The following is a transcription of the Second Quarter 1976 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Imputed Health Hindrances
The promotion of April as Food Month seems to be gaining more support each year. Originally, we just had National Food Day, which this year occurred on April 8. Now that more cities and states are cooperating in sponsorship, the whole month of April is observed as Food Month. Since the beginning of this custom, health food organizations have promoted April as Natural Foods Month.
The past success of this venture has apparently attracted the American Medical Association (AMA) to promote their recently developed National Rural Health Week, April 4–10, which includes Food Day. However, their program, as usual, has little to do with food or preventive medicine but is oriented to bring to rural areas the manpower needed for emergency medical services and development of health care facilities.
In this regard a recent editorial quoted Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture, as having said: “We must develop model facilities which can then be adapted to the communities for their own use.” This editorial also cites the fact that more primary care physicians are being produced and that the rural preceptorship program is being adopted by more medical schools. Some rural residents believe the medical program now focusing on farm communities is too little and possibly thirty years too late.
During the last decades the AMA, often referred to as the “big medical union,” is said to have reached its peak in prestige and power. Presently, internal dissension, apparently because of powerful political maneuvering, has caused it to lose its unity and prestige. It has been reported that membership in some areas has now dropped to less than 50 percent of eligibility, necessitating the innovation of signing up senior medical students to preserve its representative status.
Some older rural residents cite the fact that the AMA, immediately following World War II, was a prime mover in severely cutting freshman class enrollment in the medical schools. Through manipulation and selection, the new students became representatives of prestigious parents. This seemingly selfish move prevented many farmers’ sons from entering medical school under the GI training program. It is generally presumed that if open enrollment had been allowed, many graduates would have returned to rural areas. These residents, it is said, are not too impressed with the new, apparently political, preceptorship program after having to submit to a shortage of physicians for such a long time.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now investigating the present shortage of physicians as a probable restraint of trade violation. However, Dr. James Sammons, executive vice-president of the AMA, recently stated in effect that the AMA had not violated antitrust laws by acting to limit the number of doctors in the U.S.
Proportion Is Faulty
Over this same period the doctor graduates, being city boys, elected to practice in the city; hence the dearth of country physicians. City practice has evolved into hospital practice and the building of surplus hospital facilities competing with one another at the expense of the taxpaying public. Big hospitals induced more medical students to elect to be surgeons, so anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 have been produced yearly when, according to the American College of Surgeons and the American Surgical Association, only 1,600 to 2,000 are needed. In the last several years many students have been educated through government loans and, due to a surplus of graduates in some fields, many are unable to make an honest living so they either cheat their patrons or default on their loan. Either way the good old taxpayer is hit in the other pocket.
Almost 200 years ago Dr. Benjamin Rush, a prominent physician and delegate to the Constitutional Convention that wrote the Constitution of the United States, proposed that the Bill of Rights contain an amendment guaranteeing freedom of medicine. The proposal was ignored because the other delegates were of the opinion that this right was included in all the other rights. It was not, and Dr. Rush’s prediction that eventually medicine in the United States would be corrupted by a huge concentration of power has apparently been verified.
Not too long ago, Dr. George Zuidema of Johns Hopkins Hospital and head of a study committee commented: “We believe that controls should be tightened so that only well qualified physicians are allowed to perform surgery in this country.”
Comments have been made that it was lack of control, too many surgeons performing unnecessary surgery, and others who should have been declared incompetent, that has caused the medical profession’s loss of prestige, lack of unity, and apparently the malpractice stigma. As usual, it is regrettable that the entire profession must suffer the resulting humiliation.
According to Dr. Sidney Wolfe, head of the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, the survey and proposed tightening of control is none too soon: “The number of surgeons must be controlled, otherwise unnecessary surgery will flourish.” It would seem that control is necessary in more areas in order to make illness less expensive.
Costly Medical Care
In a recent study by the President’s Council on Wage and Price Stability, Director Michael H. Moskow of this wage-price watchdog agency stated: “Overall medical care services rose at a 14 percent annual rate, physicians’ fees at a 14.2 percent rate and hospital service charges at a startling 20.1 percent rate.” By contrast, he said: “Other service prices rose at an 8.9 percent annual rate and the overall Consumer Price Index, less medical care, at a 2.4 pecent rate.”
In this report, entitled “The Problem of Rising Health Care Costs,” the council also found that since 1965 the cost of an average hospital stay increased from $311 to $1,017, and the average doctor’s office fee jumped 53 percent, or from $12.80 to $19.55. The report further stated, “Americans, on the average, now are spending about 10 percent of their income for health care.”
From a nutritional or preventive medicine standpoint it would seem that this report has little if anything to do with “health care” but should have been more appropriately labeled as “sick care costs.” Much of this cost is no doubt due to duplicated services and overbuilding of hospital facilities, often through government subsidies. Because of such excesses many hospitals are now operating at a capacity below the amount needed to make expenses. Unused rooms figure in the overall patient cost. Cooperative efforts and duplication of equipment and services must be avoided to hold down the costs to the taxpaying public. Duplication of efforts and noncooperation of both doctors and hospitals can no longer be afforded. Any local doctor should be allowed to use the particular service he seeks, if it is available, at any locally staffed hospital.
Comments Pro and Con
In commenting on the Council’s study and report, Dr. Charles J. Picard, president of the Wisconsin Medical Society, infers that the high costs of medical care to some extent are beyond the control of the physicians and that doctors should not be singled out. He cited new laws, higher office and institution overhead costs, and increased costs of malpractice insurance, which have forced doctors to order more diagnostic tests to protect themselves “when medicine is predicted by lawyers in the courtroom.”
However, some people seem to feel that the entire situation is a result of a system that has gotten out of hand, and they are fearful of any malady necessitating hospitalization as too costly, regardless of how or who pays the bill. Many have now concluded that prevention of illness through a more realistic dietary is at least a partial solution to this overly complicated problem. Older people have observed that drugs, doctors, and diseases change with the times but that nature and health are timeless.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, endorsed this precept when he stated:
“The body tends to heal itself by natural processes. The role of the physician should be ancillary to that of nature.’’
He, in fact, endorsed Preventive Medicine.
Prevention and Nutrition Rejected
Expressing the consensus of most honest researchers, a former surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service declared: “Faulty nutrition is the greatest single cause of disease.”
In the AMA Journal of March 1963, we find an agreement in principle with this statement, as we quote: “In general, medical education and medical practice have not kept abreast of the tremendous advances in nutritional knowledge.”
Now, thirteen years later, organized medicine is still swimming against the stream of new nutritional knowledge. An unnatural daily diet of highly processed grains, refined sugar, hydrogenated fats and oils, and the present array of empty calorie foods is a root cause of millions of malnourished, unhealthy, misshapen bodies throughout the civilized world today. Time after time, in various parts of the world, explorers have found the so-called uncivilized natives in excellent, vibrant health until sometime after they have become accustomed to our vaunted processed foods. Then they become subject to the same array of degenerative diseases to which we have become heir.
Apparently, there is no ailment in which the need for proper food selection can be discarded. With this as a background for our present food situation, it would seem that the deteriorating health of our nation demands a change in so-called health care.
Natural Food Sources Jeopardized
The recent forty days hearing before Senator Gaylord Nelson’s Small Business Committee seems to verify the reason for many farmers’ distrust, as the Senator also blames some government policies. He states:
“These policies now seen to be smothering new enterprises and are forcing established family farms and independently owned factories and stores out of business. They have resulted in small business being placed at the bottom of the priority list for help to get through the recession, the worst since the 1930s, delaying our economic recovery. Family farming is in deep trouble, since more than one third of U.S. farms went out of business in the last fifteen years. Federal regulations have proliferated so wildly, and are enforced so haphazardly, that the paperwork, time and expense small business must engage in, to abide by them, are prohibitive; business bankruptcies in the year ending June 30, 1975, jumped 45 percent over the previous year; the estate tax exemption of $60,000 is so out of date that the owners of small business cannot pass them on to their children.”
Only recently the small farmer of today has been compared to our native Indians, in that “they are losing their land.” Senator Nelson has introduced a tax reform bill to make transference of a small farm or business firm to heirs more practicable.
We find that at least in one respect, Secretary of Agriculture Butz seems to agree with both Senator Nelson and the farmers. In regard to loss of farm land to urban growth and with non-farm demands taking increasingly larger bites of our valuable farm land, the Secretary stated:
“Allowed to continue this trend spells disaster. Agriculture dictated by the government or run as a public utility doesn’t work. Decision making must be kept close to the land and in the hands of the farmers.’’
To this it should be added that monocrop agribusiness, with its thousand-acre farms and lack of local interest, if allowed to continue, will also be disastrous to rural communities. Many of today’s new farmers are strangers to the soil because they only consider it as a chemical compound. The feeling for and of the earth has been sidetracked. Machinery has alienated man from all the mysteries of the earth. The tractor operator is more or less a robot putting in his time. The earth may be as impersonal to him as the parts are to the worker on an assembly line. The small farmer’s love of the soil, family, and community is on the way to becoming a casualty of technology.
Agribusiness is very impersonal. We find a bus company operating a turkey farm, a chemical company operating a beef feed lot, and an insurance company selling soybeans. An agribusiness project worker recently stated:
“The business of producing, processing, and marketing food has become a highly lucrative venture attracting many of America’s largest corporations. During the last half century, we have seen the small operator’s exodus from the farm and the usurpation of this land by the Agribusiness-Chemical complex.”
Our natural food supply has been curtailed through a systematic poisoning of the soil, water supply, and air with the approval or aid of some government agencies. Such justification, we find, has pitted the health-conscious consumer against the small farmer to the detriment of both. The effects are already being felt by the consumer pricewise for desired commodities, as a financial loss by the farmer, and health-wise nationally by everyone.
While the small farmer is suffering financially, one big agribusiness conglomerate, last year, had an income increase of 22 percent and a yearly revenue increase of 17 percent, or from 1.33 billion to 1.56 billion. Another yearend report advised that in the last quarter of 1975 consumers paid 1½ percent more for a typical “market basket,” while the farmer received 7 percent less. During the same period, chain stores, bakers, cereal companies, and food processors all reported a high increase in profit margins. Being hungry for profits, the new regime has little regard for the health of the consumer. Common sense demands that for health’s sake Super Big business, as a part of the American free system, must be divorced from so-called Big Brother government, if we desire to recapture the nutritional substances nature placed in our food chain. We certainly must agree with Vice-Admiral H.G. Rickover, USN (Ret’d), when he pertinently remarked:
“It cannot be said too often the Government has as much a duty to protect the land, the air, the water, the natural environment of man against technological damage as it has to protect the country against foreign enemies and the individual against criminals.’’
Free Nutritional Literature?
From a recent United Press International (UPI) release we learn that a children’s storybook on nutrition, The Thing the Professor Forgot, was, with the exception of the last page, developed by General Mills Corporation, although the cover of the twenty-page book lists the sponsor as the Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Agriculture. An official of the department, Theodore Crane, reportedly advised that the department is putting up $71 ,000 to pay for printing 1.25 million copies. General Mills products as such are not identified by name or brand, although the cereal-bread group does include corn or wheat flakes, a fresh hot dog bun, breads of all kinds, pastries, pretzels, tortes and cakes, as examples of grain foods.
This is to be a continuing effort of the department to provide the public, especially young people, with more information about food and nutrition. Similar projects are being developed with the cooperation of private industry, government agencies, and volunteer groups in an effort to reach the widest possible audience. This type of literature is to be distributed free upon request. The spreading of nutritional knowledge is a worthy endeavor but, in this instance, is the consuming taxpayer being ripped off with this apparently processed-food-managed advertising? Will the small farm natural food producer benefit or will he suffer another miscarriage of justice? Will the public health benefit? Or will the children benefit?
Imbalance Causes Malnutrition
Apparently, high pressure advertising has led the American people to become victims of degenerative diseases that are virtually unknown in so-called “uncivilized” countries. Over-acceptance of heavily advertised processed and convenience foods has become a diet fetish leading to nutritional imbalances. This diet imbalance is credited with at least a major contribution to the genesis of the present degenerative disorders of our time: heart and vascular conditions, cancer, dental caries, diabetes, arthritis, hypoglycemia, ulcers, constipation, gallstones, polyps, appendicitis, diverticulosis, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and possibly other colonic conditions. Many of these conditions are now believed to have their origin in the unbalanced diets of children. As one example, the prevalent imbalance of too much milk and fruit juice and too little meat and vegetables, according to some pediatricians, has led to a poor appetite, listlessness, infections, and failure to gain weight.
In a study of 240 children aged one to six in an affluent Maryland suburban industrial town, Doctors Karakat, Gokulanathan, and K.P. Verghese of Howard University in Washington, DC, found that “the adverse effects of mass persuasion techniques appear to outweigh beneficial effects in child nutrition.” They said: “All the families showed negativism toward older concepts of children and modernism in material possessions.” The result of this, they noted, was a disproportionate intake of milk, beverages, juices, fruits, and candy. “The social acceptance of these foods is so ingrained that the community is unaware of this unsound dietary habit.”
Milk and juices in disproportionate amounts in lieu of meat, vegetables, whole fruits, and whole cereals, in some instances provided up to thirty ounces of fruit juice a day or many times the normal adult intake. They also found that recent dietary recommendations for preschool children often contained an overemphasis on milk and juices. Neither provides the necessary bulk to accomplish normal bowel evacuation and thus often promote constipation. Whole foods such as fruit, vegetables (especially raw), and whole-grain cereals provide the necessary fiber to promote desired defecation. The doctors called the problem “socio-cultural malnutrition,” a result of affluence, as opposed to “socio-economic malnutrition,” often found in poorer societies.
In past generations the parents completely controlled what their children put into their stomachs and generally were the protectors of the health of their children. Today the evil-eyed monster through the children can dictate what the entire family should eat. Good taste is first and nutrition last or entirely forgotten; that is, until it is time for the physician, surgeon, or hospital to take over because of some condition very often motivated by malnutrition. For, as recently stated: “There is increasing concern that faulty nutrition lies at the root of most major disease syndromes to one degree or another.”
Prevention Less Expensive
Illness is always expensive in time lost from work or school and in physician and hospital fees. It is never enjoyable and sometimes develops into a lifelong handicap or even death. Civilization has changed our mode of living, but our bodies remain the same and continue to demand the same wholesome food, if we desire to be healthy. Doctors may have new drugs or a new therapy as each new antibiotic and wonder drug is heralded. But fresh air, sunshine, sleep, exercise, relaxation, and good nourishing food that kept grandpa healthy can do the same for us. He gave us health as our heritage. We cannot neglect or squander it. Each of us must cultivate the “soil” in the interests of good health. As Dr. William R.P. Emerson says in Health for the Having: “There is a strong force in Nature that always makes for health, provided we live in such a manner as to make health possible.”
As we can see it is an individual effort, no one can do it for us. Neither can the wonder drugs. Even though people have special medicines or drugs prescribed for them, when health breaks down, the nutritional factor must not be overlooked because the strengthening of our bodies will only respond to a sensible, nourishing food selection.
Dr. Michael J. Walsh, biochemist and consulting nutritionist of Beverly Hills, stated:
“It is fantastic what is happening in America…One of the tragedies is that the American public is being fooled by fancy adjectives that have tremendously favorable connotations; for example, delicious foods, rich foods, refined foods. White is identified with purity, whatever that is…Masses of the public are putting out good money to buy processed foods—TV dinners, ready mixes, prepared in a jiffy…The horrible discovery you make is that the vast majority of highly prized foods is using up our calory quota and furnishing little nutrients in return. They are empty calories.’’
We have already suffered from too much artificiality, and in this the year of our country’s second centennial birthday we should atone to our progenitors for the damage done to nature in our country and to the unhealthy legacy it has caused us to leave to our progeny. We must warn them to wisely use the remainder of our natural resources as the key to prosperity, health, and even survival.
We again quote Dr. William Albrecht:
“Man came in last but I’m confident he’ll be the first to go. Is he ever going to settle down and fit into nature, or is he going to think he’s running it?”