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We Need to Occupy Health Care

August 30, 2013, 4:03 PM

I believe that our health has been taken from us in every area of our life, from our homes to our schools to our workplaces to our faith-based communities, from the media, in our democracy, in our health care system.  In every area, our health has been taken from us and we have to take it back.  That’s why I talk about the idea of occupying health care or wellness spring or we, as individuals, learn to take back our health.  For example, in our homes, our kitchens have been hijacked by the food industry.  Our taste buds have been hijacked by the food industry.  


[00:25:41.60]  We need to reclaim them and put real food in our kitchens.  We need to learn to cook.  Most Americans spend more time watching cooking on television than cooking.  Most children grow up today in America not knowing how to cook.  We’re disenfranchising them from the very skills they need to create health for themselves.  We need to make our homes safe zones, so that kids can't be finding garbage and soda and industrial food.  We should just put real food in our homes.  In our schools, the same thing, most schools they only have deep fryers and microwaves.  How can we create a generation of thoughtful, healthy citizens by feeding our children things we know are poisonous and are going to kill them?  

What about our media?  We are not policing the airwaves and we’re allowing the food industry to promote we know addictive substances to children, spending billions of dollars a year.  Every kid sees about 10,000 ads for junk food every year on television.  You could talk to your kid three times a day at every meal and still not compete.  So we need to take back the media.  

We need to take back our faith-based communities.  I worked with Saddleback Church in California.  We transformed the culture of the church.  We had 15,000 people signup for a healthy living curriculum and lost a quarter of a million pounds.  The pastor himself just lost 60 pounds.  And we stopped having ribs and doughnuts for breakfast.  You know, they were all trying to get to heaven early.  

We can actually create in every area of our lives where we live and work and play.  In our schools, we can do that.  In our workplaces, we can change the culture.  We can have potlucks where people bring in food.  We can get rid of all the sodas and all the doughnuts and processed food and candy that's everywhere that our employers ply on us to keep us stimulated with sugar and caffeine and we can begin to create healthy cultures at work, like in Safeway.  

So this is where we have to think about this. Health is not going to come from the health care system.  Health is going to come from each one of us where we live, eat, work, play and pray focusing on how to do the right thing.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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We Need to Occupy Health Care

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