Compelling Facts

Featured on the International Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference website, the following list drives home the critical need for a shift from our current “disease” care system to a true “health” care system built on the foundational pillars of lifestyle medicine, recognizing that food trumps all.

Even the War on Cancer, which was waged by President Nixon over 40 years ago is one that we are still not winning. We’ve been running, walking and shopping for a cure, but we’ve yet to focus on what really matters: eating for a cure!

Bean Salad

Evidence that our dietary guidelines and “disease” management system are failing us.

  • It’s estimated that a minimum of 80% of all healthcare dollars are spent on treatment of conditions that are preventable.
  • 70% of Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Nearly one-half of the American population will be obese by 2030, according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
  • Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years: One out of three American children is overweight or obese.
  • 37% of our children who are not considered overweight have one or more cardiovascular risk factors.
  • According to Medicare: Health care expenditures in the United States were nearly $2.6 trillion in 2010, an average of $8,402 per person.
  • 70 million Americans have hypertension, with elevated risk for stroke and heart attack.
  • The War on Cancer, waged by President Nixon, began over 40 years ago, yet, trends indicate that cancer is expected to become the leading cause of death in the U.S. by 2030, according to an ASCO report.
  • 100M Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, with increased risk of amputation, heart disease, blindness, and limb loss.
  • Rates of type 2 diabetes increased by 22% among U.S. adults from 1999 to 2008.
  • Current trends suggest that one in three children born after 2000 will receive a type 2 diabetes diagnosis (for Hispanic children is 1 in 2).
  • Many experts project type 2 diabetes as the future global epidemic, with diagnosis projections as high as one in three individuals from industrialized nations that have adopted the Standard American Diet.
  • The share of the economy devoted to health care has increased from 7.2% in 1970 to 17.9% in 2009 and 2010, now at 18% of GDP.
  • The U.S. spends substantially more on health care than other developed countries. As of 2009, health spending in the U.S. was about 90% higher than in many other industrialized countries, yet it ranks near the bottom in health outcomes.
  • 90% of the U.S. senior population consumes prescription drugs; with costs doubling in the last 30 years; complications associated with prescription drugs are the #4 cause of death with 45-50 million adverse events annually.
  • We’re experiencing prolonged morbidity, with life expectancy now surpassing 78 years, but with more degenerative disease; this is an alarming combination for U.S. healthcare costs.
  • The toxic Standard American Diet:
    • 63% refined and processed foods: empty calories with no health benefit.
    • 25% animal based products: meat, dairy and eggs; disease building blocks laden with fat and dietary cholesterol.
    • 12% plant-based foods, with 6% of this being from French fries, leaving a paltry 6% of daily caloric intake coming from plant-based foods (this number also includes things like fruit juice and ketchup).
    • We’re consuming an average of 185 pounds of added sugar and sweeteners each year.
    • We’re consuming an average of 3,400 milligrams of salt a day, more than double the recommended amount (triple the amount recommended by many experts), with the majority derived from processed food.

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