By:Roz Brown, Public News Service
DES MOINES, Iowa – Democratic candidates running for president in 2020 have multiple ideas about how to fix the nation’s health-care system, but one cardiologist says they should also be addressing what’s making people sick.
Cardiologist and Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University Dariush Mozzaffarian say 50 years ago when the population was exploding, the goal was to reduce hunger, so food was designed to contain as many calories as possible.
For most people today, hunger is no longer an issue, but he says many continue to eat in quantities that lead to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
“I would like to see the Democratic candidates have a platform around food,” says Mozzaffarian. “It’s the number one cause of poor health, it’s the number one issue for sustainability. You know we have childhood obesity, it’s a huge issue for the economy, and nobody’s talking about it.”
Reports show Iowa is among the top 10 states with the nation’s highest adult obesity rates, and nationwide, three in four adults are overweight or obese. Mozaffarian says if the nation wants to reduce disease and its costs, meaningful health-care reform is critical and should be a nonpartisan priority.
Mozaffarian has joined a Silicon Valley investor and a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration leader to build momentum on Capitol Hill to put more federal money into nutrition. He believes it would benefit the economy, creating new jobs around healthy food that could be exported to the rest of the world.
He says right now, nutrition research is fragmented and too many people don’t know what to eat.
“We recently published a paper and 42% of calories in the U.S. food supply are poor quality carbohydrates,” says Mozzaffarian. “So, think about that – almost half of the calories in the U.S. food supply come from refined starch and sugar.”
The U.S. spends more money on health care than any other country in the world. Mozaffarian notes that people with lower incomes often have the worst diets – which creates a cycle of poor health, lost productivity, increased health costs and poverty.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II