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Dec 01 2015
ICEL Recap: Culture Clash - How We Win the Battle for Better Health
DeAnna Leahy, CCE, Sunroc Corp.

In our ICEL meeting for November, we were honored to hear from Dr. Steven Aldana, the author of the book Culture Clash: How We Win the Battle for Better Health. Dr. Aldana is one of the nation's foremost experts on healthy living and wellness. He spoke to us about the true cause of our poor health, which is our unhealthy culture. Our unhealthy behaviors and poor health are caused by the culture we have created and the only realistic solution to better health is to change our culture. Our situation is a side effect of capitalism and our new culture of sedentary living. Our bodies have not adapted to sedentary lifestyles and are not designed to be sedentary. The result is obesity and chronic disease. These unhealthy behaviors lead to increased health risks which leads to chronic disease. Salt, sugar and fat are addictive substances which makes it difficult to make changes.

With obesity trends on the increase, Dr. Aldana spoke about the tools needed to stop gaining weight and improve your health by creating a new culture. A healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of heart attack and heart disease death by 70 to 89 percent. If you have a healthy lifestyle you could expect to live between 10 and 20 years longer than those who don't have a healthy lifestyle. 

Blood pressure drops with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise, and reduced amounts of alcohol and sodium. Blood cholesterol improves when you eat more fiber, less saturated fat and cholesterol, and lose weight and exercise. Diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and in many cases reversed when you have a healthy lifestyle. Almost all type II diabetes is caused by our unhealthy lifestyles. When you stop smoking, increase your physical activity, reduce alcohol consumption, and improve your diet, you cut your risk of heart disease death by 20 to 40 percent. 


Excess weight, poor diet, physical inactivity, and smoking account for most of the major diseases of modern society, including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, colorectal cancer, depression, and kidney disease. We behave according to our culture and environment, so if we want to change behaviors, we have to change our culture.