Guest blog by @JosephLightfoot
The State Of Our Health
Britain is facing a health crisis and the statistics paint a bleak picture for the future.
Why Is This Happening?
Humans are evolved to be highly active and to consume natural, unrefined food. However, our lifestyles have changed radically. As a population, we are now largely sedentary and consume more refined food. Our lives are out of step with our genetic heritage resulting in obesity and chronic disease.
Healthcare professionals do an incredible job in challenging conditions. However, our training lacks emphasis on how to use lifestyle advice to empower people to live healthy lives.
My Personal Experience
If I had to sum up my time at medical school in one sentence, I’d do so like this:
I have learnt about disease, but I haven’t learnt about health.
Whilst there are many contributing factors to the current state of our nation’s health, I think the lack of education for healthcare professionals on lifestyle advice is a particularly important area.
The lack of education and training has resulted in many professionals who are unable to effectively help their patients stay healthy, and a healthcare system, which focuses almost entirely on reactive measures and only steps in when patients are already ill.
I don’t think this is good enough.
My vision for healthcare can be summed up by this fantastic quote from Thomas Edison.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
The Move Eat Treat Campaign
In order to achieve this vision, I founded a campaign called Move. Eat. Treat. Along with the rest of the campaign team, I am working to promote the importance of preventative medicine with the aim of eventually developing a healthcare system, which doesn’t wait until patients become ill before it acts, but works to keep the population healthy – a true health service that is proactive rather than reactive.
We believe that the best way to achieve this is to educate healthcare professionals on how to deliver effective lifestyle advice. We hope that this will lead to a sea-change in culture within the healthcare system to one that assertively seeks prevention instead of cure. Then this will be followed by policy and organisational changes to prioritise prevention via promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Lifestyle should be a core theme of healthcare education, alongside other key pillars such as anatomy, physiology, and pathology. This campaign wants to pave the way for updated curriculums and provide education to both undergraduates and current healthcare professionals.
We Need Your Help
However, we need your help. The most successful campaigns have all had significant public backing. The first goal of the Move Eat Treat campaign is to gain 100 000 signatures on our petition.
With support, we have a voice and we can lobby the people and organisations that can bring about the changes in the healthcare and education systems that are so desperately needed.
You can sign that petition HERE .
We hope you’ll also consider sharing the campaign with friends and colleagues via email and social media. The infographics used above which illustrate the problems we face can be freely downloaded HERE.
A Final Word
The Move. Eat. Treat. vision is a lofty one, but with your help we believe we can make a positive change to healthcare philosophy and help keep people healthy.
Move. Eat. Treat isn’t the same old drone from your doctor about losing weight. It’s about creating innovative solutions, tools and guidance to really equip people to be, and more importantly, stay healthy.
Joseph Lightfoot BSc(Hons) is a final year medical student at the University of Manchester. He is also currently the strength and conditioning coach to England Under 19 Lacrosse team. Along with the other members of the Move Eat Treat team he is campaigning for a proactive healthcare system.
For more information about the campaign and our goals visit www.moveeattreat.org