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 Conversations with Leaders in Self-Care: A Field Guide to Eating  
Interview with Michael Jacobson PhD
   as interviewed by Tom Ferguson MD

So whereas formerly, every government agency was left to figure its nutrition policy out for itself, now there's an overall guideline. Now, instead of doing its own studies, the Bureau of Prisons, for example, can say, "Okay, we've got to clean up the food in the prisons because we're giving the inmates heart disease."

Is the population as a whole starting to eat better?

On the whole, I think that eating habits are getting better. I would guess that about five percent of the general public is extremely conscious of nutrition, and a much larger proportion has made some positive changes in their eating habits. I think that there are two especially bright spots in the prospects for the future.

Bright spot number one is the fact that many college educated young people are seeing the advantages of avoiding rather than treating diseases. There are now vegetarian food lines in college cafeterias. This is still a relatively small group, but it portends much bigger changes in the future, because these people are going to be the decision makers and the style leaders of the next two or three decades.

Bright spot number two is the fact that a number of very high-placed government officials have finally realized that our health costs simply can not be allowed to continue increasing as they have. There's a great deal of pressure to explore new ways of structuring our health-care policy, our health-care structure. It seems clear that we'd eventually go to some kind of national health insurance. When that happens, government is going to become even more interested in supporting our efforts to prevent disease and to take better care of ourselves. It can't afford not to.

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 About The Author
Tom Ferguson, M.D. (1943-2006), was a pioneering physician, author, and researcher who virtually led the movement to advocate informed self-care as the starting point for good health. Dr. Ferguson studied and wrote......moreTom Ferguson MD
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