Dr. Katz believes an individual can make a difference in the present obesity epidemic. He'd like to see more individuals showing interest in their health and the health of their families. He'd like to see more programming for weight loss and good health.
Dr. Katz is founder and president of the Turn the Tide Foundation. He is a health columnist for the New York Times Syndicate. In 2009 he was nominated for U.S. Surgeon General.
(Transcribed from video interview)
My view on the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease is we can’t fix parts of it without fixing the whole. In order for people to eat well, we need good food available wherever people and food come together. We need people who are able to identify more nutritious food and by people, I mean kids and adults alike.
We need kids and adults to care about eating more nutritious food. We need everybody to understand the implications that we truly are what we eat and that we have the capacity, were we to apply the knowledge we have right now about lifestyle and health, we could prevent 80% of heart disease, 90% of diabetes, up to 60% of cancer, and although those statistics sound bland to you, think about your life and the people you know.
What if eight of ten of the people you have ever known who have developed heart attack, cancer, diabetes, didn’t? Think about the personal benefit in your own life with this. They are real people out there who would be the beneficiaries of this. So, I am interested in creating programming and policies everywhere we can put them to help get this job done. I think that’s necessary. Part of it is knowledge and awareness.
If you care a lot about your health and you care about the health of your family, you will work harder to get that job done. You will have more will, and will is crucial, but so is way. And while we say, “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” it’s not necessarily true; you really need both. So, it’s crucial that you be aware so that you have the will. We must then pave the way with policies and programs.