‘What the Health’ Documentary and Discrepancy

Doctor enters the room:

Hi Jessica, what can I help you with today?”

Me: “Absolutely nothing, I am the picture of health. I just need you to write me a prescription for blood sugar test strips since the one and only endocrinologist on staff at NYU only comes in once a week and is on vacation for the rest of the month. And buying them over-the-counter would cost me $85 bucks for less than a month’s worth.

Doctor: “Ok. Do you also want some pamphlets on stress-management and healthy relationships?”

Me: “No I do not. But I will take a lollipop to go.”

There are some undisputed truths about being healthy

  1. Get some sleep and some exercise
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Avoid Shake Shack with your friend Kaitlyn at all costs (sneakily discards SS receipt) after I went here on Monday night I had to take an extra shot of insulin because even I miscalculated how much sugar they put in those iconic Shakes. Woah.
Shake SHack NYC

So good. So not good for you.

It seems like some things should be pretty self-explanatory and others should be easily explained by the experts, right? I mean, it makes sense that a huge corporation like The American Heart Association should have some stable tips on heart-healthy diets, doesn’t it?

Enter in the 2017 documentary, ‘What the Health’, which shows the partnerships with big businesses and government in regards to healthcare and healthy living tips in America.

I am really confused and annoyed after seeing this documentary. I feel like NOTHING is healthy or safe to eat but especially within the advice surrounding the ‘diabetic diet’ which has long advocated a low-carb, high-protein food intake. Turns out chicken is the worst thing for you. Also eggs. Also food in general. ‘What the Health’ features a study suggesting that diabetes could be controlled better with a diet containing greater carbohydrate and sugar consumption.

I’ll eat sugar cane for breakfast if it means better health, but who’s paying for the medicine to go with that? I don’t trust that this isn’t another manipulative study trying to convince diabetics to consume greater quantities of carbohydrate so that we’re chained to larger insulin dosages. Should I make out the check to the American Diabetes Association or the Insurance Companies or to Fun-Dip Incorporated? Apparently they’re all one and the same.

I swear I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m just hungry.

As a dancer and diabetic, I feel healthy when my diet is balanced and includes lean proteins and carbohydrates. I honestly don’t follow a prescribed diet plan in terms of calories or food groupings. I would however, like to know if the endorsed effects by scientists and nutritionists of certain foods are essentially bought and paid for by politicians and corporations.

The science of nutrition is ever-evolving as our world and economic practices shape and change what and how we fuel our bodies, and I believe the rules for ‘health’ are based on individual things like lifestyle and genetics. But where and how money changes hands is an undeniable fact which unfortunately colors the results of science. It’s a problem when the facts of finances so greatly shape the facts shown to the public about healthy living.

What the Health

Don’t eat that lettuce leaf, it’s soooo bad for you!

I hate relying on medicine and medical care to take care of my basic daily functions. The biggest hassle with diabetes, in my opinion, isn’t the daily shots or having to manually maintain homeostasis by counting carbs and being aware of everything going in to your body. The biggest hassle is not even trying to discern good choices for me as a dancer, an athlete, a person who wants to be healthy amidst a lot of confusing advice. The biggest hassle is dealing with the insurance companies and appointment nonsense when all you need is for the so-called experts to  make it a little easier, cheaper, possible to get what I need to live. Sometimes it seems like they are purposely trying to make it difficult so that those of us who need medication or doctor advice get so frustrated that we give up on easy preventative measures, like easy access to test strips or information on nutrition without funding from those specific food companies, so that we need bigger, more expensive measures when health becomes not a priority, but a dire problem.

If anyone out there wants to send me a huge box of Verio One Touch Ultra test strips, I will love you forever. Or as long as the insulin holds out.

It’s hard to know which ‘facts’ to trust when it seems like everyone, even the doctors and health organizations, are just trying to make a dollar off of our best efforts.

What the Health

Is this dumbell safe to eat? photo via pinterest

I’m curious what others do to track their health, if you follow a prescribed plan or avoid certain things. I actually take my much-needed medicine for whatever I eat nowadays, so I feel like I’m winning at health.

So in the meantime, pass the Shake Shake, thanks. And the insulin. In the name of health.

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