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Consumer Reports states that, person for person, health care in the US costs twice as much as it does in the rest of the developed world. And the kicker of their analysis: We don’t get much for our money. In a 2013 Commonwealth Fund study of 11 developed countries’ health care systems, the U.S. ranked fifth in quality and worst for infant mortality. America also did the worst job of preventing deaths from treatable conditions, such as strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain treatable cancers.
Today we welcome Chris Kresser to the program. Chris writes one of the most popular natural medicine blogs on the Web and has been named by Greatist.com as one of the 50 most influential voices in health and fitness.
In today's discussion, we explore the world of "functional medicine" and other approaches to health and wellness that offer potential to complement, or in cases, replace conventional western medical treatment. Some of these practices have been used by eastern cultures for millennia, others are just coming to light now. But the common thread in each is to focus on the biological uniqueness of each patient and use an evidence-based approach to identify and resolve the underlying condition -- rather than merely treating the symptoms, which modern health care (sometimes referred to instead as "sick care") is often guilty of.
Through his website and books, Chris provides a wealth of guidance and resources for how each of us can -- and should, if we care about living better and longer -- take an active role in improving our health and well-being. He places special focus on what he calls the "big four" practices: diet, physical activity, stress management, and sleep.