Address the root issue

This week, I’m focusing on eating healthier, as I’m reading the book Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shanahan.

One of the most interesting lines I’ve read so far is this:

“Medical school doesn’t teach doctors to address the root of the problem. It teaches doctors to treat the problem.”

For all of the medical advances we’ve made, it doesn’t seem like we’ve made too much progress in eradicating diabetes, alzheimers, etc. Anecdotally, these diseases still seem to me like a huge problem that many people are still dealing with.

So maybe it is true.

Maybe our healthcare system is just about reacting to symptoms rather than dealing with root issues. Maybe we should take the phrase “you are what you eat” more seriously.

But if the ultimate goal is getting people to live healthier lives that optimizes for quality rather than length, what do we do?

When we think in terms of policy, things get pretty messy, so let’s break it down at an individual level.

Would it be wiser to:

  1. Spend more of your money on healthcare, or spend more of your money on eating healthier?

  2. Eat a bunch of unhealthy food everyday and develop diseases, or eat unhealthy food as a treat and have great health?

Perhaps we need to investigate the American diet and nip the causes of these diseases at the root — instead of focusing on inventing new preventative medicine.