Western medicine and traditional healing approaches can work together as integrated functional medicine to overcome obesity and restore health.
REDUCING HEALTHCARE COSTS
The cost to business for healthcare expenses and loss of work due to chronic illness are major detractors from profitability and economic sustainability. In addition to the health benefits of solving the growing health problems associated with obesity in the U.S., we are at a tipping point financially in both our country’s fiscal spending and in the exorbitant spending on a medical model that cannot effectively address the problems of obesity and chronic disease. Businesses are looking for ways to reduce these costs, including implementing wellness programs.
Safeway has been leading the way for reducing costs by supporting the health of employees and is reducing the average expenditure of $11,000 per year per employee to $8,000 per year. This savings has other businesses gaining interest in financing their own healthcare programs with a focus on functional medicine (Burd, 2009).
MEDICAL PROGRAMS VS LIFESTYLE PROGRAMS
Health care costs have been shown to be reduced more by supporting medical programs not lifestyle. Think of the savings if functional medicine was applied as well.
Surprisingly, wellness programs per se might not help reduce healthcare costs.
According to the RAND Wellness Programs study corporate wellness programs have little if any, impact on the amount employers pay for employee health care. The study surveyed 600,000 employees from seven businesses. The programs were generally divided into lifestyle management to reduce and prevent disease and a second component to manage chronic diseases. Savings of about $30 per month were seen, but the return on investment was primarily driven by the disease management component, not by the lifestyle management program.
LIFESTYLE AND DISEASE
It takes more than lifestyle to turn around disease. When you understand your body’s physiology and what drives the growing levels of chronic disease that we see in the U.S., you will understand why it takes proper diet, exercise and medical intervention using functional medicine, not drugs, to turn these epidemics around.
It will require a new approach to medicine that addresses underlying causes of symptoms, pays health care providers for spending the time needed to address individual medical needs and minimizes engaging expensive heroic intervention and specialists prematurely in the health care process.
You have been empowered to take the next steps towards solving obesity and restoring your own health. You will not be alone; millions are joining in this health care revolution to impact themselves, their families and friends and to be free of patterns of disease that plague our country