Big Food, Deep Pockets, and Healthcare

Fast Talk About Fast Food

I was reading an interesting article recently, written by practicing physician Dr. Adams in Baltimore, that discussed many of the main themes of the public health crisis and the role that food marketing and lobbying plays in our national health crisis.  Nothing I haven't heard, read, or discussed before, but I enjoyed this particular article because he was genuinely pissed off.  

And I really don't blame him.  As health care professionals why aren't more of us this upset over the suppressive role that big food plays in government policy and agricultural subsidies, or the convenient role that fast food companies play in sponsoring health oranizations.  To steal a word from him, this "diabesity" crisis only continues to grow, which in turn burdens our health care system and government further.

RD Critique

He is critical of dietitians in this article for touting portion control as a critical means to weight control.  I can respect his frustrations with this but have to say, that is a very broad stroke analysis of what a Registered Dietitian does.  

Media outlets have RDs on television/radio/print media to help get across a wide array of nutrition messages (a common one being portion control - because it works), so yes often times it all seems simpler than it should be.  Where the rubber hits the road is when an RD can develop an ongoing therapeutic relationship with a client/patient and be part of the support system that helps them develop healthy eating patterns.

Nobody develops obesity overnight, so that is where continuity of care and insurance reimbursement are important.  The role of the RD is that of health expert that can help explain physiological concepts and answeres questions on food and digestion, physical activity, exercise, and chronic disease management.  As a dietitian I also see it as my role to be the obejctive eye for the client and help them see their own patterns of food intake.  

So Dr. Adams, fight alongside me to stop the subsidies of big agriculture, and improve CMS and private insurance reimbursement for RD services.