In What REALLY Kills Us Dr. David Katz, an IIN Lecturer, argues that heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. are not the leading causes of death in America but are rather the effects of poor lifestyle factors – the top three being tobacco, diet and physical activity level. He points out the link between our everyday actions and major diseases and puts the responsibility of your health on you – his potential patient. This has all been said, researched and concluded before yet disease rates are going up, not down, despite the push for prevention and pro-active habits. Action is not being taken because the “get healthy”/ “lose weight” recommendation has no real chance if the potential patient doesn’t know what they are doing or how to execute change. They must be taught.
“As a society, we clearly know the ‘what,’ but as individuals and families; spouses and siblings; parents and grandparents — most of us, just as clearly, don’t know how. How, despite the challenges of modern living, do we adopt, maintain, and enjoy a healthful diet? How, despite those same challenges, do we fit fitness in? How do we navigate around other challenges, from sleep deprivation and lack of energy, to overwhelming stress, to chronic pain?
These questions have answers, and I know them. I know them not because I’m special, but because it’s my job to know them. Pilots know how to fly planes; nuclear physicists know how to split atoms. I am a health expert, and I know how to get to health and weight control from here. Like any worthwhile thing, it requires a skill set.”
Although I think Dr. Katz is the exception and that few MDs are well versed in prescribing “get healthy”outside of the calories in vs. calories out model, let’s assume they don’t have the time/resources to hold a patient’s hand through the learning curve. What appears? A gap where Heath Coaches can comfortably find their place.