The Swiss Way

The Swiss seem to have their shit together. They stay out of conflicts and generally seem like they care about things. I'm sure there are some things they don't do well, but looking around at the incompetency I see running rampant in nearly every area that I have to deal with in my life (work, customer service, doctors/hospitals) I'd like to live in Switzerland for a while and appreciate the difference.

That being said, there was something on the national news tonight about modeling the U.S. health care system after the one the Swiss have. Sure, it has flaws and it's expensive. A big part of the roadblock is that everyone thinks nationalized health care will be perfect, but it won't. Even I realize that. But the Swiss realize it too. The report said their health care system was like a Rolex. In case you don't know, Rolex is a very expensive, high quality watch.

Health care CAN be done right. But what I don't understand is why lots of people here are so gloom and doom about it. If America has such smart people, great technology and wonderful engineering, why can't we do a health system that IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD? Wouldn't it be a coup to devise a system that is the envy of those countries who already HAVE national health care? Instead, we complain that it's going to get worse and that national health care will destroy the nation, bankrupt us, blah, blah, blah. The banking industry and Corporate America have bankrupted us already.

And why haven't diet and nutrition been emphasized more? Because we're lazy. Part of it is that health studies/reports are released, and one minute, fruit is good for you, the next month, you need to avoid certain fruits, because they have too much fructose. A former family doctor didn't ask me about my diet when I came to him with a skin rash that I'd had off and on for years. He just prescribed an expensive ($95 per tube) steroid-based ointment. It worked, but when I ran out, the rash came back.

A couple years later, I saw a magazine at the grocery store (and I still have it) that mentioned Candida, a yeast that grows in your intestines. It feeds on the slightest bit of sugar. So I followed the suggestions in the article. I cut back on my sugar, started taking L-Glutamine, ate broccoli, and ate sugar-free yogurt (to bring in good bacteria.) In a week, my rash was gone. If the doctor had asked me about my diet, I could have avoided the ointment just by eating better.

Speaking of diet, I was in the grocery store today when I saw an overweight woman with 12-pack of antioxidant diet 7-Up in her cart. It would have been healthier for her to just eat some fruit, but that, no doubt, would have been too much work.


Greg said…
I’ve recently been looking at my sodium intake and reading food labels very carefully. A lot of these low-fat lean cuisine things are relatively low in fat, but loaded with salt (and carbs too). Once you start doing the math and comparing sodium-intake to the RDA, it just boggles the mind. Unfortunately, labels often indicate sodium levels in terms of “portions” and the equivalent percentage in terms of RDA. So, conceivably, you can pick up a bag of chips and read that a serving is something like 3% (which isn’t that dramatic) but if you look at the fine print, a serving turns out to be six chips. I was comparing pita bread the other day: Two similar brands in terms of size and number of pieces. Brand A had less sodium per serving, which I assumed was one whole piece. Not true. Brand A’s definition of a serving was half a slice, as compared to Brand B which considered a whole slice as one serving.
Gloria said…
My brother was trying to help me in the summer of '08, bringing over cleaning supplies (he was appalled at the condition of the house) and some food, which consisted of a tuna salad kit and a package of Chinese noodles that was basically 3 inches by 3 inches, and the calorie content was something like 600. I was floored!

I know what my problem is. I drink too much pop, but I've tried to keep Coke Zero in the house. I can't remember when I last bought pop for the house. That forces me to drink more water, which I need to do. I'm also going to the gym and my stamina seems to be getting better.

And yes, you have to check the fine print.

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