Originally published May 31 2011
Disease ridden patients refuse to make lifestyle changes
by T.M. Hartle
(NaturalNews) Several studies have found that even a heart attack or bout with cancer does not inspire patients to make the change to a healthy lifestyle. One might believe that being diagnosed with cancer or suffering a heart attack would inspire a patient to make changes. Unfortunately, the results of several studies expose the reality that patients are unwilling to take responsibility for their own health.
A study published in the American Heart Journal evaluated over 1,200 men and women who were overweight and had suffered a heart attack. In the year following their heart attack participants of the study had lost a mere .2% of their body weight. It is well established in current scientific literature that obesity increases the risk of not only heart disease, but diabetes, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and many other serious health conditions as well. Despite experiencing a heart attack and facing an early death from unhealthy lifestyle choices, patients still refuse to make healthy lifestyle changes. The study published in the American Heart Journal is just one of several studies highlighting patients refusal to make lifestyle modifications in the face of serious lifestyle related illness.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology followed over 9,000 cancer survivors evaluating healthy lifestyle changes following treatment. After surviving one of the most feared diagnosis, cancer, most survivors made little or no changes in their lifestyle. Less than 20% of the cancer survivors were consuming the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables a day. Only 1 in 20 of the study participants were following all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown certain healthy lifestyle habits reduce the risk of recurrence and improve overall health and quality of life. The compelling research on lifestyle factors that improve health has somehow failed to promote change in most patients. Many health experts blame medical doctors for failing to inform their patients of the health promoting actions they can take to improve their health.
Researchers for the CDC interviewed 1,600 cancer survivors inquiring whether they had received guidance on lifestyle changes and dietary advice relating to the prevention of a recurrence. Only 1 in 3 cancer survivors stated that their physician offered information about diet. The majority of medical doctors fail to inform patients of the lifestyle related risk factors and preventative measures that can be taken. The weight of responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the patients themselves to seek out information about a healthy diet and lifestyle. Patients should take the responsibility for the lack of lifestyle modification following the diagnosis of serious disease. The dietary and lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of disease are well known and well publicized. Patients would not have to search very far to find the information they need to make informed lifestyle changes. These recent studies expose the reality that the majority of people are simply unwilling to take responsibility for their own health.
About the authorT.M. Hartle has a Bachelors degree in Natural Health Science with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition as well as a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She is a student midwife who teaches pregnancy nutrition courses to midwives and childbirth educators throughout the country. She has a certificate in the Essentials of raw culinary arts from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is the Owner and Chef of The Peaceful Kitchen. http://www.thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com
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