The headlines this week issued a dire warning; Forty Percent of Americans Will Develop Diabetes, they screamed in response to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. Diabetes often develops out of something called Metabolic Syndrome. This syndrome includes factors such as impaired fasting blood sugar, a low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and high waist circumferance and is at epidemic proportions in the United States. Metabolic Syndrome is one of the stepping stones towards heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Not surprisingly these disorders are directly related to our diet, lack of exercise and our weight.
There are no shortage of voices telling Americans to slim down, whether it be popular weight loss shows or doomsday documentaries. The messages in these programs focus on weight loss but don’t really profile the healing that takes place when people lose the weight. Through diet and exercise changes people are able to reverse diabetes, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, help with depression, abolish sleep apnea and improve erectile dysfunction, just to name a few.
Its not just diabetes that has been increasing in recent years. Incidence of autoimmune disease, especially in women, has also been on the rise. There is much research going on to determine causes and new treatments for various autoimmune diseases. Many of the current treatments available only serve to mask symptoms, and have a whole host of unpleasant risks and side effects. When we were both faced with our own autoimmune diseases we started to look for other ways to heal ourselves.
The oldest treatment, and often-quoted advice, is from Hippocrates who said “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.” Through diet changes we have both been able to improve and reverse our own diseases (more on this to come!). Through this process we became curious about who else is using food to heal. When we started looking we were excited by what we found. There is a whole community of believers who are using the most basic of human needs to nourish and to heal. We were so inspired by those who are finding solutions rather than just reiterating the problem that we decided to make a film about it!
We hope you’ll follow our journey as we work on our film about food, health, community and hope. We are This as That and this is Food as Medicine.