The Extra Large Hospital Bed in the Corner
Numerous articles have been written predicting doom for our obese population. And do we do anything about it? Yes. We pledge allegiance to high-fat fad diets, buy gimmicky exercise contraptions, and, now, supersize the beds in our hospital to accomodate our growing demands.
The Associated Press reports even hospitals are being forced to acclimate to our band-aid approach of controlling obesity:
Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis [is] finding better ways to deal with the growing number of very obese patients, an issue for many U.S. hospitals. Barnes-Jewish is replacing beds and wheelchairs with bigger models, widening doorways, buying larger CT scan machines, even replacing slippers and gowns.
Last year, patient care director Colleen Becker decided to check the numbers. She looked at a daily hospital census — about one-third of the 900 patients weighed 350 pounds or more.
Now, of course hospitals must comfortably accommodate all shapes and sizes. But shouldn't any health institution respond to such obesity, at least in part, with at least some degree of focus on the causes of the obesity epidemic?
In many cases, the extra large hospital bed is the last step in an extended unhealthy cycle: Eating a bunch of cheeseburgers, buying an "Ab Tornado" or some such thing but never really exercising regularly, and then getting sick and needing an extra large hospital bed.
What's missing is regular exercise and disease-preventing nutrition to maintain a healthy bodyweight. Consider this excerpt from Eat to Live:
By following my vegetable-based diet you will significantly increase the percentage of high-nutrient foods in your diet and your excess weight will start dropping quickly and dramatically. This will motivate you even more to stick with it. This approach requires no denial of hunger. Patients of mine have lost sixty pounds in two months while feeling full and content. You can lose as much weight as you want even if diets have never worked for you in the past.
My promise is threefold; substantial, healthy weight reduction in a short period of time; prevention or reversal of many chronic and life-threatening medical conditions; and a new understanding of food and health that will continue to pay dividends for the rest of your life.