Posted on 11/11/2008
Everyone knows that America faces a growing health care crisis. Prevailing wisdom relates this to two factors: increasing medical costs and lack of insurance coverage.
This is accurate, but not comprehensive. What is the deeper problem? Americans are sliding into health hell because of overeating and unhealthy consumption choices.
The effects of obesity are devastating for millions. Almost 700,000 women and men die of heart disease each year. The cost of cardiac care: $300 billion a year, increasing annually. This tally covers medication and services, work absenteeism, and lost productivity. Additionally, 160,000 people die each year from strokes.
And the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that the incidence of newly diagnosed diabetes cases nearly doubled in the last decade. That translates into almost two million additional diabetics in the last four years alone! Hundreds of thousands remain undiagnosed. Medical expenses to treat and control diabetes are staggering.
So three diseases related to obesity—cardiac, stroke, and diabetes—cost insurance companies hundreds of billions yearly. We each bear part of that financial burden.
What is the solution? Calorie-controlled healthy eating. That’s right. I’m not talking gimmicky diets. I have seen them come and go.
If we can help our at-risk citizens eat healthy, well-balanced, portion-controlled meals, we can increase life quality, and reduce individual and collective medical expenses.
Years ago, my father died of congestive heart failure and diabetes. I was deeply troubled that the printed menus given to him were unable to change his eating habits. My mission—and that of the company I envisioned, founded, and have nurtured for 23 years—is to provide healthy eating meals to as many people as possible.
My company—Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating—operates on a small profit margin. But even that requires a price too high for many people who desperately desire to be on our meal plan. What to do?
I have in my files thousands of testimonies from diabetics and cardiac patients who have found new life—literally—from eating our meals. I have no doubt that healthy eating is a strong and proven curative.
On the average, people lose about 2 pounds a week on our program. This may not seem like much, but it’s authentic weight loss, and habits are developed that can make it permanent.
If an obese person is on our plan for 25 weeks, it’s likely they will lose between 40 and 50 pounds. The health benefits are obvious. Everyone wins—the individual, the insurer, the employer, and our country. If an insurance company covered half of the cost for 25 weeks of our meal plan, they would spend less than $1,500, instead of the tens of thousands they are doomed to pay later.
Because Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating is the only company I know providing a 21-meal-a-week healthy eating, calorie controlled plan, some will say that what I am writing is self-serving. To an extent, that’s true. My company will benefit. However, we already are a successful business and we’re run by women, all nurses, whose mission is healing, not greed. It breaks our heart when people come to us and we can’t help them.
The solution is obvious. A wise health insurance company CEO looking to increase profit and make a positive contribution to society can make a difference.
Spend a little. Save a lot.
Who’ll get the ball rolling? We’ll be glad to help.
She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.