We seem to be searching for the answer and have been since the dawn of time.
The question: how to feel better, be less tired, have more energy, lose weight and live longer — in short, how to be healthier.
We are willing to spend a lot of money to find the answer, according to a recent report on the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Paying for health using different approaches represented 9.2% of all out-of-pocket spending by us on healthcare and 1.1% of total health care spending.
That’s A LOT of money!
But are we getting healthier?
Millions of Americans are trying (and paying for) a variety of complementary health approaches, including meditation, chiropractic, yoga and herbal supplements.
Many of these approaches have been used for years, even centuries, but is there efficacy?
So far, at least, there is little scientific evidence of their benefits.
The NCCIH believes that rigorous research is needed to help the public make informed decisions about what they spend their money on to improve their health.
The Survey Says…
What did we spend our money on?
The latest annual survey found:
- We spent $14.7 billion (with a B) on chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists. This number is 30% of the money spent on conventional doctors.
- We spent $12.8 billion on supplements. That is about a quarter of what they spent on prescription drugs.
- We spent $2.7 billion on self-help materials like books or CDs on health related topics.
- The average per user out-of-pocket expenditure for complementary health approaches was $435 for people with family incomes of less than $25,000 and $590 for those with family incomes of $100,000 or more.
These large numbers indicate that people are putting a lot of faith, in addition to their money, into these approaches to improve their health.
It’s not for lack of trying that we have not yet found the answer!
Don’t Forget Nutrition
Why is it that we are willing to pay so much for things that may or may not make us healthier but we balk at simply talking with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, who can help us make the health and lifestyle changes we need to become truly healthier?
We seem to value testimonials to science or are waiting for our insurance to pay this bill.
Most people continue to eat foods that aren’t improving their health when they know eating right is important.
A lot of us aren’t getting all the physical activity that we know we should either.
These things are all in our control and won’t cost us a fortune.
Nutrition for Wellness
Eating right is not a slogan, it’s a habit and strategy for good health.
We need to consider the food choices we make every time we eat.
Is this the healthiest food I could be eating right now?
Do I have a plate with half fruit and vegetables?
Am I eating a rainbow of colorful, antioxidant, vitamin and mineral rich foods?
Is my food too highly processed, meaning it may be high in added sugar, extra sodium, laden with saturated fat or devoid of vitamin and minerals?
Is there a source of whole grain and fiber in the food I ate today?
Did I eat protein at each meal?
Are my meals balanced in nutrition for my health?
Have I cooked any of my own meals today?
It can be life and health changing to visit with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Educated and Trained Professionals
When it comes to your health and that of your family, you want to trust experts who have the experience, education, and training to give you the right advice, don’t you?
RDNs are trained in nutrition and are experts at science-based strategies for fighting illness, managing chronic disease, performing at your best in sports, dealing with family nutrition issues including kids, teens, pregnancy and lactation, achieving desired weight loss, caring for an aging person, and creating vegetarian meal plans — and that’s the short list to how an RDN can help you be successful!
Eating right is vital to being healthy. Our bodies crave nutrients and unless we are choosing the foods that will meet our needs, supplements and other complementary health approaches won’t make us feel better over the long run.
You can learn about how to eat a healthier diet, get motivation, learn cooking techniques, improve your shopping knowledge and find success when you partner with an RDN to help you meet your health goals, no matter what they are.
Can you afford not to find expert help from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
Not if you’re among those searching for the answer to “how can I be healthier“!