“America doesn’t have a healthcare system. We have a disease management system.” – Andrew Weil, IIN lecturer
As some of you already know, in January I started school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach. The school offers an awesome flexible yearlong program, and I’m in the thick of it and loving it. Every week I feel engaged in the lessons, and it’s great how I can listen to the lectures anywhere on my iPad. As I recently mentioned, lately I’ve gone to the beach a few times to do school work, which provides just about the perfect setting for relaxing while learning! In February I did a recap of my first month of school, and I was planning on doing a post on my favorite ideas and concepts for each month I’m in school… but somehow a few months have flown by!
Whoopsies. I want to get back to sharing things with you guys that I’ve learned at IIN more frequently, so today I’m talking about some stats I’ve noted from recent lectures about the health of Americans.
Warning: Some of these stats are downright scary! Talking about some of this info makes me more eager to get out there and start coaching. Knowing that I have the potential to improve the quality of people’s lives through health coaching is very exciting. Here we go:
- Fact: Americans now eat more than a million chickens AN HOUR….That’s 9 billion chickens each year.
- Stat: The average American gets 62% of their calories from processed foods and 27-30% from animal products.
That leaves just roughly 10% for fruit & vegetable consumption! Fruits and veggies provide us with so many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to our health in so many ways. We need to eat more produce in order to lead healthier lives, simple as that.
- Fact: 1 out of every 3 Americans has cancer.
That fact is just so sad, but think about, who out there doesn’t know someone who has died of cancer? I think that more of an effort needs to be made to educate people on cancer prevention versus just on finding a cure. Of course a cure is needed and would be nothing less of amazing, but we need to also focus on how to reduce our risk of getting cancer in the first place.
- Stat: 25 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis.
While increased calcium consumption has been recommended, research has found that those who drink more milk have a higher rate of bone fractures. One major reason why? Because the body need many nutrients working together for good bone health, such as magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc and Vitamin C, D and B6.
By the way, milk and dairy products aren’t the only calcium sources available. Vegan sources of calcium include leafy greens like kale and collared greens, blackstrap molasses, tempeh, soy beans, figs and amaranth.
- Fact: 70% of Americans are considered overweight.
(Unfortunately that’s no shock.)
- Stat: The U.S. has the third greatest amount of people with Type 2 diabetes in the world (#2 is China and #1 is India, which I was surprised to hear).
Tidbits on diabetes: It’s the leading cause of kidney disease, blindness and amputations. Those suffering from diabetes are also 2-4x more likely to have a heart attack.
- Fact: Today in the U.S. there are over 15,000 diet books in print.
No wonder why most people are confused about nutrition huh?
- Stat: It has been estimated that there are 88 workers per 1 BILLION pounds of meat produced in America.
…..and this is why food safety in the meat industry is a major concern!!
- Fact: It’s estimated that healthcare related to obesity costs the U.S. $147 billion dollars annually.
- Stat: The average American teenager consumers 33 TSP of sugar each day.
- Fact: 95% of Americans don’t know what quinoa is…
….which, by the way, has the highest nutritional profile of all the grains out there!
So there you have it, some startling facts about the American diet. What are your thoughts/comments on these stats? Are you surprised by any of this?
If you want to learn more about IIN’s program, I talked about it more in-depth here. You can also leave a comment below, shoot me an email, or click on “Study holistic nutrition” banner on the right side over here to find out more about IIN’s program. —->
“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” – Wendell Berry