The New York Times; Rethinking The Meat Guzzler.
Herbivore vs. Carnivore - You be the judge !
Dr. M. Klaper
Explore the consequences of a meat (animal based) diet. Are we really designed to be omnivores OR does a plant based diet suit us best?
* The third highest cause of deaths in the US is what is termed "iatrogenic", which means "induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy." This accounts for an estimated 225,000 deaths per annum which is about 10% of total deaths from all causes including old age. Of these, 12,000 deaths result from unnecessary surgery. The highest cause of deaths in the US is heart disease (725,000) and the 2nd highest is cancer (549,000). Both of these were almost unheard of at the beginning of the twentieth century.
* 180,000 deaths a year occur due to adverse reactions to prescription medications. By comparison, general accidents in life account for 98,000 per annum. This includes 42,000 from car accidents, 120 from airline crashes**, 90 from being struck by lightning** and 5 from Anthrax (in 2001). 15,500 die from murders and 20,000 from flu or its complications.
**averaged over 2-3 decades
Causes of Death Further Breakdown
1. Tobacco 435,000
2. Poor diet and physical inactivity 400,000
3. Alcohol consumption 85,000
4. Infectious agents (e.g., influenza and pneumonia) 75,000
5. Toxic agents (e.g., pollutants and asbestos) 55,000
6. Motor vehicle accidents 43,000
7. Firearms 29,000
8. Sexual behavior 20,000
9. Illicit use of drugs 17,000
* Despite all the media hype about how good the US medical system is and how we're winning the war against cancer, these statistics tell a very different story:
According to the 2001 World Health Organization report, "World Health Report Health Systems: Improving Performance", the U.S. ranks 37th out of 191 countries. A commentary published in the July 26, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that in a comparison of the top 13 industrial countries based on 16 health indicators, the U.S. ranked on average 12th. The countries included in the study were, in order from the top-ranked (best health care) to the lowest-ranked, as follows: Japan, Sweden, Canada, France, Australia, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, the U.S., and Germany. Of the 13 countries compared, only Germany ranked lower overall than the U.S. In fact, the U.S. ranked dead last for three indicators. These were low-birth-weight percentages, neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall, and years of potential life lost. These rankings do not paint a picture of a country that has the world's best health care.
Is it true that we're winning the war against cancer like we're asked to believe, after the massive research funding backed by the government?
From the U.S. government's own raw statistical abstracts we find the real story:
Mortality from Cancer in the U.S.
year --- deaths/ 100,000
1992 is the last year for which data is currently available from Vital Statistics. There is nothing to indicate that there should be any downturn between 1992 and the present. In fact, independent analysis by the CA Journal for Cancer Clinicians, Jan 97, put the 1993 death rate at 220 per 100,000. A 40% increase in cancer deaths per capita in the last 4 decades is hardly "winning the war against cancer."
* An estimated 2 million people a year (11% of those admitted) catch infections in hospitals that they didn't have when they were admitted and approximately 90,000 of them die from these infections. An approximate list in order of likelihood is: urinary tract infections (34%), surgical site infections (17%), respiratory infections especially pneumonia (13%), blood infections/bacteraemia (14%), skin (especially burns), gastrointestinal tract infections, and central nervous system infections.
* About 2,216,000 annual hospitalizations result in adverse drug reactions and these account for 106,000 deaths annually.
* As Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn demonstrates in his book "Confessions of a Medical Heretic", when hospitals or doctors go on strike, the death rate goes down and when they go back to work, the death rates rise again.
* Its estimated, that 80% of the population will end up with a tumor, cancer, disease or some type of physical problems or pain. This means approximately 4 out of 5 people are on the highway to some type of physical tragedy.
* Side effects of commonly used over the counter pain relievers include gastric ulcers, bleeding stomachs, hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths last year.