The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released its health statistic brief this week and reported that heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Yet again.
Actually, not much of a surprise. It’s been like this for years – and years - and years.
What’s more depressing? Life expectancy actually fell this past year – from 78.7 years in 2016 to 78.6 years in 2017. Part of that is due, tragically, to increases in the rate of suicide deaths. But another reason is the lack of change in deaths due to heart disease. There was no improvement. Despite the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars we spend trying to treat it.
Again, not much of a surprise. Because no amount of lasers, pacemakers, stents and drugs can make up for the primary underlying driver of heart disease – diet.
As someone who takes care of patients with heart disease and those at risk for heart disease, I’ve come to understand how hard it has become to eat right. Conflicting messages, fad diets, meaningless health claims on products, counterproductive agriculture subsidies, non-nutritive ingredients, addictive food formulations, dietary guidelines tainted by industry influence. The list goes on and on.
In some sense, it's a miracle heart disease death rates have not gone UP! A testament to the steady drumbeat of continued medical advancements. But shouldn't we be spending all our energies on prevention rather than treatment?
I used to be hopeful that the government would fix it. Or that doctors would start an all-out campaign to help their patients to eat better. Or that food companies would figure out how to make only foods that build health - and not disease. But none of that has happened.
Amazingly, Step One’s research was completely unique at American Heart Association’s conference. No other food company presented evidence that their products improve health. Despite the fact that millions of food products are available in the marketplace today.
That should give you pause.
I created Step One Foods to help my patients stop being statistics, and we are determined to lead the way as the beacon of truth and trust. And we invite you to help us spread the word - so that heart disease stops winning.