Health and Modern Diets

Tom Haverford

CO 150.401

3 March 2017

Health and Modern Diets

Background

The world we live in today is plagued with health concerns such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. As Loren Cordain, Ph.D. says in his book, “many of the health problems today are the direct result of what we do- and do not- eat” (Cordain 286). It seems the best way to fix these problems, or at least decrease the numbers, would be to change what we eat. This is important because it could save many lives and improve lifestyles for many as well. Research has been done on both our Paleolithic ancestors and indigenous peoples, when they lived off the land, and their diets. Both parties were shown to be in remarkable health while consuming their natural diets. In an article published by The Guardian about indigenous diets, they found “traditional food consumed by rural communities contain nutrients that are lacking in high- and middle- income countries’ (Guardian 257). After further research, it was found that “[the] modern [western] diet is what is being pushed on tribal peoples around the world with devastating results” (Guardian 260), thus we should modify our diets to mirror their original diets. As Dr. Cordain put it, “we need to give our bodies the foods we were designed to eat” (Cordain 289).

Stakeholders

Department of Agriculture and Department of Health

Farmers:

  • As an institute, both departments could help to change the way we produce food and look at our food.
  • The Department of Agriculture could support farmers while they were making a transition to healthier food options: possibly giving tax breaks or providing subsidies for farmers to encourage production of certain foods.
  • The Department of Health could help to spread the word about a healthier way of life and possibly put into action some methods of changing the modern diet

Weight Loss Companies

  • This audience would most likely value profit unless smaller farms were contacted as they might be more interested in the health of their community.
  • These farmers decide what is grown so they are vital to the success of a change in our diets.
  • They could shift their main production to leaner meats, more superfoods, and other raw foods (as opposed to processed).

Research Questions

  • Since this type of diet is known to cause weight loss, a company with this as a goal would be a wonderful stakeholder.
  • They would be able to help spread the word about a new diet and how it could help people.
  • They would be able to contact a wide audience as many people (especially in the U.S.) are overweight or obese and want to lose weight.
    • These companies typically value money but the people that provide this income value health and weight loss, thus both parties would be ‘winning’.

Plan for Future Research

  • What are the health concerns related to our modern diet?
  • How could we adjust our diet to address these major health problems?
  • After my initial research, I am still left with some questions. These are mainly focused on the specifics when it comes to the healthiness of this diet change, specifics about the stakeholders being addressed in this proposal, and specifics about possible methods of solving the problem. What are some of the other health concerns that need to be addressed (related to diet)? How effective will these changes be? How realistic is it to try to change people’s diets? How would one even go about changing people’s diets or how the food is produced? I would also like to know more about the possible negative effects of a diet such as this, if there would be any major problems with a switch such as this. I would further like to know why this is not currently popular: cost, accessibility, lack of knowledge, unwillingness to change? These would be helpful so that problems that may arise could be properly addressed. My interest in this topic is geared towards the nutritional benefits and how eating and living more like our Paleolithic ancestors can help us to live better lives.

    Works Cited

    Cordain, Loren. “Excerpts from ‘The Paleo Diet’.” Food, edited by Hannah Caballero, Amanda Memoli, Sue Doe, Fountainhead Press, 2016, pp. 285-300.

    Guardian, The. “Indigenous Diets Can Help Fight Modern Illnesses, Health Experts Say.” Food, edited by Hannah Caballero, Amanda Memoli, Sue Doe, Fountainhead Press, 2016, pp. 257-261.