In a startlingly reasonable development, health insurance monolith Kaiser Permanente urges physicians to make use of the abundant existing evidence regarding diet and disease prevention. Kaiser now encourages its 15,000 affiliated doctors to recommend a plant-based to all patients, “especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”
The article titled Nutritional Updates for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets reflects an atypical approach within the modern Western health care system, but one long past due: it encourages HEALTH care, rather than disease management. While Kaiser’s motives are likely all about the bottom line — less disease treatment means less expenditures for insurance companies — the resulting recommendations represent significant and actual progress in the right direction.
With extensive data citations and research review, article authors conclude that a plant-based diet offers real, tangible, and cost effective intervention for preventing and treating (distressingly common) health problems — as bonus content, they also thoroughly address frequently-held misconceptions about protein, iron, and calcium that many (omni) doctors may have.
Contrary to both what you might expect and what would make sense, most physicians barely get any training at all in human nutrition; so articles like this one appearing in medical journals are a big deal, in terms of facilitating improved understanding of plant-based health approaches within the medical community.
The article published in the Spring 2013 edition of the peer-reviewed Permanente Journal, but only recently crossed my path and made me feel cautiously optimistic.
In this era of epidemic lifestyle-driven disease, corporate takeover of democracy, antibiotic resistance, rampant farm-animal cruelty, global climate change, and generally discouraging news on far to many fronts, cautious optimism (on those rare occasions when it crops up) seems worth sharing.
Maybe — just maybe — the medical establishment is slowly dabbing a toe into the food revolution tide, and coming to terms with the possibility of change…
Come on in, you guys, the water’s fine!