He's right. More than 90% of all diseases can be preventing entirely through lifestyle changes -- namely, good nutrition and regular physical exercise. Avoidance of envrironmental toxins, household poisons and toxic chemical ingredients in personal care products would also help. Prevention is far cheaper than treating full-blown diseases, but that's actually part of the problem the Surgeon General is running up against: organized medicine doesn't really want people to prevent diseases, since that would mean a drop in prescription drug profits, lab tests, surgeries and other big revenue producers for the medical industry.
It sounds harsh, but it's absolutely true: there's no incentive for organized medicine to promote good nutrition, physical exercise and disease prevention. No corporation profits from it. Hospitals would lose patients, drug companies would see their revenues plummet, and doctors would be unemployed. The full employment of our "modern" medical system depends on the vast majority of Americans being diseased... or at least diagnosed with fictitious diseases like Attention Deficit Disorder or "fear of public speaking."
Kudos to Richard Carmona for saying what needs to be said. We do need to invest in prevention, and that means educating people about what's healthy. But getting out the right message seems impossible in today's political climate where food politics dictate public policy. Big Sugar holds tremendous sway over the White House. Soft drink companies bitterly fight any hint that their products might promote obesity. Growers of corn and wheat absolutely deny that their milled grains (like refined white flour) promote diabetes. Everybody in the food industry says, "It's not us!" Meanwhile, the nation keeps getting fatter by the day, with startling increases in obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and many other diseases over the last twenty years.
It is time to disregard the profit motives of the pharmaceutical industry and food companies and, instead, start telling the truth about foods and fitness. The FDA needs to step in and require all obesity-promoting foods to be labeled as such. Soft drink advertising needs to be banned outright. Refined white sugar and flour should be banned (only whole grains should be allowed in the human food supply). And taxpayer dollars need to be spent on public education campaigns to fight the hype and propaganda of the fast food industry.
You can help by spreading the word about this website. The more people read this information, the healthier our nation will be.