- PRINCIPAL SOURCES OF HEALTH ISSUES
- HISTORY OF BUSINESS’S CONCERN FOR HEALTH
- HISTORY OF GLOBAL HEALTH ADVICE
- ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
This section covers items that can adversely affect our health. The categories are FOOD, PRODUCTS and OTHER.
FOOD AND PRODUCTS
There are 5 elements that drive unhealthy and possibly dangerous Food and Products.
- The first is reducing the costs of production to where the food can no longer be healthy or nutritious, but becomes damaging/toxic
- The inclusion of ingredients (mainly for cost savings) that are harmful over the long term
- The drive to maximise sales by making food as tasty/addictive as possible
- The introduction of technologies and products that have not been properly tested using our standard criteria of Independence, Transparency and Competence
- The lack of proper regulation by government and regulatory authorities, principally because of a lack of independence and competence
“Other” includes items such as unhealthy lifestyle (which to an extent is a matter of choice), stress and environmental issues (pollution)
- Methods of Growing and Producing
- Technologies and Materials
- Environmental Factors
The fact is that a driver behind lots of food production (crops and livestock), understandably, is to make it as efficient (see Environmental effects) as they can (maximise volume) and to keep production costs low to make it more affordable. This coupled with the food companies wanting their products to be as tasty (some would say “addictive”) as possible not only drives overconsumption, but usually means the overinclusion of unhealthy ingredients. By way of example, a standard 12oz can of Coke contains the equivalent of 10 cubes of sugar (39 grams).
The effect of pushing costs down beyond a certain point can often be to introduce substances, such as insecticides or growth hormone into the process. Whilst improving say the crop yield or the growth rate of the animals, there is often a price to pay. The food now contains toxins and often significantly lowers levels of important nutrients. With processed foods, the production process can make the food even more unhealthy.
Whilst there will be a range of views on what is healthy and what is not, some ingredients are unhealthy beyond any reasonable doubt, especially in the quantities included. Failings here include no clear disclosure of the ingredients (including font size and placement) and appropriate regulation. Again, this comes down to the regulatory bodies and governments not being anywhere near as independent as they need to be to ensure proper regulation of food production. Food companies and some restaurant chains want to sell as much as they can irrespective of the consequences to our health, so they do whatever it takes. They are succeeding!
The issue with products is that in the main they can damage the environment in how they are produced, then used and finally disposed of. This will be dealt with under the “Environment” section. Nevertheless, regarding health, the damage will normally come in one of two ways:
- The materials used are toxic. Asbestos is a good example as are lead water pipes
- The technology interferes with or damages our bodies
It is the second point that is the most important, because it has the potential to be the most dangerous and also the least avoidable. In most cases if we consider something harmful or dangerous we can avoid it; not always the case with technology.
A bit of background. We and other living things seem to be very different from robots, but we share one common feature; we are all dependant on electricity. At our very core the way our bodies communicate internally, all of our senses and our thoughts are dependent on electricity, albeit at very low levels. Our heart is another good example of the electric nature of our body. As a result, electricity can kill us, stun us and sometimes save us.
Electricity has a history of causing health issues from when it was first discovered (Full history with link to come). From the inventors of electricity to switchboard and radar operators in the Second World War, health issues have been noted. X-Rays are an addition to electric/radiowave/microwave spectrum and are also acknowledged as dangerous. The latest addition are the microwaves that are used principally for mobile phone networks. Our bodies natural frequencies are very low, under 10Hz. The frequencies used by mobile phones will now reach into the million and billions of cycles per second.
The consequences of this are unknown. No testing to our knowledge has been done by phone companies or governments. Thousands of doctors and scientists have raised concerns of significant dangers to our health and living things in general. A complete failure in all countries to require independent testing continues to amaze us. For this reason, the first topic we are covering in detail is 5G because of the significant damage many believe it can cause and because of it already being rolled out untested!
This section covers the following:
- Environmental issues such as pollution. These pollutants will be either
- Airborne (fuel burning,factories, car fumes)
- Waterborne (fuel, plastics, chemicals)
- Land based (chemicals, waste)
- Intentionally distributed (eg fluoridisation)
HISTORY OF BUSINESS’S CONCERN FOR HEALTH
What the last 100 years or so (from the start of modern democracy) show us is that businesses (or should we say those that control them) are not interested in our health. From asbestos to smoking, to the VW emissions scandal or drugs like Vioxx (manufactured by Merck) that killed tens of thousands, there has been little if any self-regulation. The only regulation has come after public pressure. Governments are reluctant to legislate and put in frameworks that allows regulatory decision making to be independent so that we, whom they represent, can be protected from large organisations and business interests. There seems to be a failure to stand up for the basic principles of democracy or realise that health and the environment are linked not only to our quality of life, but to our very survival as a species.
HISTORY OF GLOBAL “HEALTH ADVICE”
A good example to start with. From the get-go the advice on low fat diets was deliberately falsified. Ancel Keys presented his theory to the World Health Organisation in 1955. This correlated fat intake to heart disease. However, he deliberately left out countries from his study that did not support his “lipid hypothesis” about how fats caused heart disease. In 2010, the USDA released their updated guidelines, but still recommended 45% of calories from carbs and minimal animal/saturated fats; even now with all our knowledge based on empirical testing, major national bodies are not updating their nutritional advice. One has to ask why!
It is only recently that mainstream medicine after more than 50 years renounced it which speaks volumes.
The elephant in the room when it comes to health advice, is that doctors have virtually no training in it. They can diagnose the problem, but normally the treatment is medication. This isn’t surprising as most medical schools are at least partly funded by pharmaceutical companies. In countries where doctors get commission for prescribing drugs, unlike in the financial sector, there is no need to disclose their commission which must for most be a motive for prescribing. Doctors rarely get to the root cause, though this is changing with the growing number of doctors moving into Functional Medicine. To be fair this is because lots of people would rather take pills than change their lifestyle. The elephant of course, is that if we were healthier, we would have less need for medication. Hence the profits of pharmaceuticals would fall. So healthy living is not really on their agenda; similarly, it isn’t good for the large food companies; they want people to eat more even if it is too much of the wrong stuff. And they are succeeding as the can be seen from all the charts on obesity and health issues. It is perhaps ironic that with the strides in technology our health is getting worse! Of course, apart from the cost of mitigating our deteriorating health with medication that has become unaffordable, there is the how our poor health effects not only how long we live, but the quality of our life.
Lots of things that are bad for our health are unsurprisingly also bad for the environment. In that life on earth is an ecosystem, the health of all life is dependent on other forms of life. Lest we forget, there are as many bacteria in our body as human cells (Weizmann Institute 2016). The ecosystem also needs to be kept in balance, so killing off too many bacteria, insects (bees for example) etc is no good for us. Similarly, pollution, destruction of wild habitats will ultimate impact our health, apart from reducing our ability to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature. But all of this is dealt with under the Environment section, with links to Health where appropriate.
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