based on a February 2014 recorded presentation with Mark Hyman, MD
The quest to create health is more effective when people work together in their community. Getting healthy is a team sport and is central to changing the “diabesity” epidemic – we do not need more doctor’s offices or health care professionals. Leveraging the power of love, community and connection will ultimately change unhealthy behavior in the U.S. Community-based healthcare and functional medicine approaches have shown that the “diabesity” epidemic plaguing western countries is reversible. What is on the end of someone’s fork may have more influence over their health than the pills in their medicine cabinet.
To learn more about community-based healthcare and the community-based medicine method of approaching the “diabesity” epidemic, listen the 2014 Integrative Healthcare Symposium Presentation Recording: Take Back Your Health: Reversing Diabesity with Community-Based Medicine or download the associated Whitepaper.
Functional Medicine – Functional medicine is the science of seeing how things connect, how the patterns connect. Functional medicine approaches disease in a new way: with a priority on restoring health, and not on symptom elimination. Through the use of community groups, social support, food and exercise, it is possible to address, and even reverse, some of this “diabesity” crisis. In functional medicine, the body is understood as a network with certain nodes that are influenced by everything we do – by the environment and by what someone eats, breathes, thinks, believes, or absorbs in toxins.
Social Network – Despite a deep-seated emphasis on individual willpower, research has shown that both obesity and diabetes are actually social diseases. An individual is more likely to gain weight if their friends and family gain weight. On the other hand, social ties and community centers have proven to be fast and efficient routes to spread and promote healthy living. Considering the social elements of food, diet and recreational activities, it’s clear that both an individual’s biological network and their social network need to be included in the foundations of health.
Biological Network – A good diet can create biological resilience. Through food – a powerful “new drug” – people can control and improve the function of tens of thousands of genes, optimize tens of thousands of protein networks, and improve the balance of dozens of hormones. Food works faster, better and more cheaply than any drug on the planet. It’s available to almost everyone immediately, and it’s simply food. New studies are finding that food actually contains information that regulates almost every function of your body. It’s like computer code, but it’s much more complex. This new field is called nutrigenomics and it examines how food influences the expression of your genes.
Diet Choices – The approach to food is based on simple principles as a sort of instruction manual for the care and feeding of a human body. What someone puts on the end of their fork is more powerful than any drug ever discovered on the planet. And the sum of a community’s diet choices also has tremendous implications. The food on the end of a fork is literally talking to human biology, and communicating with the genes in every cell. Food influences biology through all components of food, including macronutrients and micronutrients.