April 23, 2019

Wellness Is No Passing Fad

“Recently I polled my Facebook friends about rich people’s complaints. It was for a novel I’m working on, but one answer felt uncomfortably close to real life: “obscure dietary restrictions.”

This displeased me. As a person suddenly forced to abide by obscure dietary restrictions — my stomach abruptly started objecting to most foods that fall under the category of “delicious” eight months ago — it pains me that people view the concept of nutritional medicine as akin to Gwyneth Paltrow Kegel-ing jade eggs.

I am, well, fed up — both with our cultural attitudes about food and health and with our medical system’s stubborn refusal to embrace their connections. Make no mistake: The disdain for those connections is as prevalent among some doctors as it is the public.

Yet those connections are becoming clearer every day. Some 70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal troubles, notes the National Institute of Health, a number that is on the rise. According to a study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, functional gastrointestinal disorders, like constipation and bloating, “rank second in the causes of absence from work or school.””

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