I attended the national prevention conference, “Prevention 2011,” last week. It was held here in San Antonio, making it easy for me to attend, and it was excellent. The theme that came through strongly and repeatedly was that healthy lifestyles are the answer for most individual health problems as well as for our major national health problems. Top speakers from medical academia (Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and others) emphasized this point, one speaker saying that much of the care given in our country today is expensive “band-aid care.” We spent over $100 billion on coronary artery bypass surgery and angioplasties in 2006 that did not solve root causes. If lifestyles don’t change, repeat surgery or angioplasty is commonly necessary. Simply stated, our “repair-care” system is very inefficient at best.
Much else was presented that was both interesting and valuable. I will touch on some of this in future blogs, but my point today is simply that the medical establishment is beginning to wake up to the importance of lifestyle medicine, and that we will be seeing much more about this in the future. Teaching patients the joy of advancing their own health power will become a key concept over the next few years!