November 2016    
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The McDougall Program Under Trump Rule

Healthcare is the number-one issue Americans want Donald Trump to address during his first 100 days in the White House, according to a November 2016 Reuters poll. Twenty-one percent of Americans want Trump to focus on the healthcare system. Jobs took second place (16%) and immigration came in third (14%).


Healthcare, in practical terms, means that people want to heal and stay healthy. This would be simple to accomplish if Donald Trump were to learn that 80% of chronic illnesses are due to the foods we eat and that these diseases are greatly improved, and often cured, with a healthy starch-based diet (the McDougall Diet). Many powerful political leaders of today have known for decades that eating animals, vegetable oils, and other junk foods causes obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancers (breast, colon, and prostate), bowel disorders, and much more.


Politicians Who Have Known Real Healthcare


Our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, learned in March of 2010, after two heart surgeries, the truth about the McDougall Diet and soon afterwards gave up his favorite meals from McDonalds. Regardless of any recent publicity you may have read to the contrary, he still attributes his "vegan" diet to saving his life.


Barack Obama, our 44th president, between 1975 to 1979 he was a student of mine at Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Known as Barry Obama back then, he clearly understood the McDougall Diet. His wife Michelle openly speaks of her own vegan diet. On January 31, 2012 she served Jay Leno on the Tonight Show a platter of food, featuring apples, baked sweet potato "fries," and a vegan pizza made with eggplant, green peppers, and zucchini. The Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend an exclusive private school in the Washington DC area that serves vegetarian meal alternatives.



Even once portly Al Gore has recently changed to a diet similar to mine and has benefited by losing more than 60 pounds. Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard, has tried for years with little success to provide students with healthy vegan meals. Dennis Kucinich, a former U.S. Representative from Ohio (1997-2013), and his wife, Elizabeth, have promoted vegetarian school lunches; again with few, if any, real improvements in the children's diets.


No Visible Improvement in Healthcare


Therefore, for decades some of the most powerful people in the world have known the truth about attaining real health by eating starches, vegetables, and fruits. Yet our nation's health has deteriorated and medical care costs have skyrocketed.


Obesity is up from 34% to 38% over the past 6 1/2 years since Mr. Clinton's personal change in diet and Mr. Obama's eight-year presidency. Now, in 2016, 14% of our population has full blown diabetes and half are pre-diabetic. The incidence of breast, colon, and prostate cancers has been steadily rising.


The U.S. Dietary Guidelines favor agribusiness over people in their 2015 report, as they have since their establishment in 1980. The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), established by the ACA (Obamacare), allows healthcare providers to group together to get paid for quality over quantity. Unfortunately, there has been no visible positive impact on medical care or the health of Americans.


Prescription drug prices in America are rising like no other business. Prices for medication, doctor appointments, and health insurance increased to an all-time high in August 2016 (since 1984 when reliable data began being collected).


I understand that both Republicans and Democrats share in these failings and there are many reasons for this pronounced regression in healthcare. But, lack of knowledge of the truth about diet is not one of them.


Donald Trump Will Make a Big Difference, but for Whom?


My guess is that Donald Trump has little personal experience with proper human nutrition. He has been pictured sitting in his private jet eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. His personal appearance confirms his lack of understanding about what to eat. He is approaching the definition of obese at 6'3" and 236 pounds. Ideally, a man of his height would be closer to 175 pounds. His blood pressure and cholesterol are reported as normal; however, he does take a statin medication for his cholesterol.



Donald Trump has a choice of supporting the citizens of America with dramatic improvements in healthcare, beginning with policies favoring a healthy diet (like the McDougall Diet). But this would mean turning against the financial interests of Big Food, Big Pharm, and Big Medicine (including most physicians and all hospitals). Past government policies have almost always favored business.


As one frightening example, there are currently "food libel" laws, also known as "food disparagement" laws and informally as "veggie libel" laws, passed in 13 U.S. states that make it easier for the food industries to sue and stop their critics. These libel laws are a real threat to The McDougall Program and to me personally. If my message is ever widely heard, then the meat, dairy, egg, and fish industries would have every reason to attack me for making disparaging but true comments about their products. Most of their high-profit foodstuffs are beyond any doubt fattening, sickening, and killing people, even those voters who elected Donald Trump to become our 45th president. There is a long line of businesses, like pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, as well as heart surgeons and oncologists who would applaud jailhouse accommodations for me. Thus, there is much at risk for The McDougall Program. However, as all of you know, I will not remain silent.


Will Trump Make American's Health Great Again?


Trump won by promising that he is "Going to Make America Great Again." I have been in medicine for nearly half a century, and I'm trying to remember when it was that America was great in terms of health. In the 1970s, the obesity rate was about 14%. To help curb growing rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer at that time known to be caused by the American diet, George McGovern formed the Dietary Goals for the United States, calling for consumption of less meat, dairy, and eggs and more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Should Trump's goal for healthcare be the body weights of people and the governmental efforts of the 1970s, at least? Do Donald Trump's words really mean he will stand up for the truth and save people's lives? If so, then I ask him to set The McDougall Program as the healthcare goal for all Americans.


With his unconventional approach to solving problems, Donald Trump could take this path to healthcare (The McDougall Program), which would be much less costly and drastic than building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, or deporting 11 million illegal immigrants. As are all of you, I am anxiously waiting to see what the next four years of Trump rule means for the health of our nation's citizens. I hold a sincere hope that all of our positive momentum—toward healthy eating, and compassion for animals and the environment—continues to grow, unimpeded, so that health and wellness can be shared by all.



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