Changing culture to support healthy eating

Two articles this past week caught my eye. One was in The New York Times and another is Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog, whose work I deeply respect. Both the discuss the need for our core values to change in order to make the right choices in regards to our health. In the Times article the values are those expressed by corporate and government policies, medical and educational institutions, and the social mores that influence our behavior. In short the very culture we live in. The Times article argues that because the food industry, grocery stores, farming practices, and government policies don’t support a healthy way off eating and living our attempts to make personal changes will be undermined.  True enough – through lack of education, means and access a huge swath of the American public has been denied the freedom to make healthy choices. And without a system of support, making and maintaining new and healthy lifestyle choices may be almost impossible for some people. What can we do to change our culture?

Hyman’s blog is making the point that there are real costs to making choices that make and keep us sick. Each of us waking up to this fact is key to making different choices based on different values.

When we make choices based on new and higher values it has a ripple effect – things begin to shift on many different levels. As individuals, doctors, schools, government agencies, corporations, etc., recognize the real costs of ignoring our current epidemic of ill health, and the simple lifestyle choices that could avert it, there will be an incentive to change. How this change comes about is up to each of us – but by embracing different values and acting on them we do have the power to change our current culture!

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