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“All eating is communion, feeding the soul as well as the body. Our cultural habit of eating 'fast food' reflects our current belief that all we need to take into ourselves, both literally and figuratively, is plain food, not food of real substance and not the imagination of real dining.” — Thomas Moore, Ph.D.

East Texans’ Bad Health Habits Get National Attention

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Posted: Mon, Mar 21, 2011
By: Danielle Heard, MS, HHC
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“I saw a sad article recently - NY Times, I think - about a town in Texas that said most of the residents don't believe or trust in doctors when it comes to health issues and not surprisingly, they have a huge rate of heart disease, diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases,” said a client of mine who lives in Philadelphia, PA. Naturally when I heard this news, I couldn’t help but feel very sad for my home state that is lacking tremendously in health education efforts and policies to help Texans live healthier lives.

In an article titled, “East Texans’ Bad Health and Bad Habits Promote a ‘Stoke Belt,’” which was published in the New York Times on January 13, 2011, reporter Emily Ramshaw highlights the grim health statistics of Anderson County that have led to the county earning the nickname the Stroke Belt. To read the article click here.

Ramshaw further reports that race and poverty are significantly linked to early deaths among the residents of Anderson County and wrote “The early deaths are a result of high rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers, afflictions directly linked to lifestyle choices, including poor diet and smoking.”

Additionally, a prevalent attitude among East Texans is “When the good Lord says, ‘It’s time for you to go,’ it’s time for you to go. It ain’t up to me or to nobody else.” There is little to no self responsibility taken to help prevent illness and disease. People in this area live hard and die young eating traditional southern style food such as BBQ, fried catfish, biscuits and gravy combined with modernized fast food and all-you-can-eat restaurant offerings.

Unfortunately, the health care industry in this area also does not walk the talk when it comes to helping people live healthy lives. In her article, Ramshaw reports that an area health care facility, the East Texas Medical Center of Jacksonville, featured a recipe for Barbara’s Buttermilk Pie which included two cups of sugar and five eggs in one of their brochures.

Ironically, at the time that I became aware of this article, my own family was dealing with health issues for several family members that were all heart and stroke related. One of my uncles was admitted in January to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler for multiple chronic health issues. While he was having multiple heart attacks and waiting to have quadruple by-pass surgery, the staff fed him heart disease causing ice cream. After having a blood transfusion and invasive heart surgery, the hospital then fed him spicy shrimp which made him very sick. He is currently back in the hospital again where the hospital staff is feeding him sugar laden fruit juices and popsicles so that they can perform diagnostic testing. Again, little to no thought is given to the quality of the food that is being fed to someone who is chronically ill and with an unkown health problem. Sugar in all forms is a leading cause of disease. In cases of cancer, fructose causes cancer to grow.

On January 31st, my 52-year-old brother died of a heart attack. He had lived a very hard life, and did not take care of himself. He was financially poor and single, ate a lot of food that you would imagine a single guy would eat, smoked for many years, and had a life-long drug addiction. His life was cut short because of the choices that he made.

Then just a few days later another uncle died that had been living in a nursing home for a number of years with no memory because he had suffered strokes which damaged his brain.

Last fall I asked a heart surgeon his opinion about reversing heart blockages with nutrition and he responded with, “I’m just a plumber.” Heart disease can be reversed with diet and lifestyle changes and the research studies which prove it have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Anderson County is not alone as high rates of lifestyle related diseases are prevalent across the entire nation. People must take responsibility for their own health if they would like to live a long healthy life. The choices a person makes each day matter most in the prevention of disease and the quality of life in which they will lead.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and please continue to visit often.

I wish you good health, happiness and love!



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Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | © 2008-2024 Artemis in the City, LLC. All rights reserved.
Email: info@artemisinthecity.com | Phone: 903-759-0172 | United States
Artemis in the City and logo and Food for the Untamed Soul are trademarks of Artemis in the City, LLC.