Health forum on need for accountable lifestyle

Until governments target the root causes of chronic diseases…more funds alone won’t make Canadians healthier.

Two nutrition and lifestyle keynote speakers will highlight an upcoming health forum planned for Lake Country and Penticton next week.

The guest speakers will be Hans Diehl, a clinical professor of preventive medicine from Loma Linda University, Cal., Brenda Davis, lead dietitian in a diabetes research project in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Davis and Diehl are on the council of directors for the Glimmer Initiative, a global coalition of 250 of the world’s leading authorities on nutrition and lifestyle medicine mobilizing to effect reform in health care.

The health forum tour in B.C. will make stops in the Okanagan on Monday, Oct. 26, in Lake Country at the Creekside Theatre, 5:30 p.m.; and in Penticton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, also at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10/person available at Choices Markets and Nature’s Fare stores in Kelowna.

Diehl and Davis will counter the argument that government needs to invest more money into the health care system.

They say until our governments recognize and target the root causes of chronic diseases—which comprise 70 per cent of deaths—more funds alone won’t make Canadians healthier.

The Canadian health-care system, they say, knows how to manage symptoms. Health-care professionals recognize the value of lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

But they haven’t fully committed to it as a treatment option, that lifestyle medicine must be the first line of therapy for lifestyle-induced chronic diseases.

The mainstream approach to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer doesn’t adequately address lifestyle causes.

Diehl founded CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program).

CHIP, which has a Kelowna branch, boasts 70,000 graduates worldwide and dramatic drops in cholesterol, blood glucose levels and blood pressure.

“Tragically we have shifted our food supply from slow food to fast food, from potatoes to potato chips, from corn to corn chips, from beans to burgers, from oats to Oreos, from water to soft drinks,” Diehl said.

Personal responsibility, Diehl said, is the key to good health, not access to cheaper prescription drugs.