Good Nutrition is Basic Healthcare

America's health care system has some issues. These issues tend to most significantly impact poor Americans, rural Americans and people in small communities.

Of course, when we say health care system, we mean our medical system. But medical care and health care are not actually synonyms.

Health care is anything you do to support good health. It is not limited to medical care only available through a licensed health care provider, such as prescription drugs and surgeries.

Studies show that good nutrition and adequate exercise are both frontline defenses against pretty much every major deadly disease out there, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, one of the reasons this country has a Food Stamp program is because simply getting enough to eat and eating nutrously are basic health care and it is far cheaper to feed poor people than to wait until they show up in your ER because lack of nutrition and other factors have created a serious medical crisis.

So if you are in a small community and one of the issues you feel a need to address is the poor health of local residents, you do not have to hope the community grows large enough and rich enough to attract a small hospital or medical clinic. You can do thing to improve the health of your community that are much simpler and more affordable/more accessible for a small community.

Some ideas:
  • Start a community garden.
  • Contact your local County Extension office and work with them to promote local gardening.
  • Start a walking club.
  • Create a list of all of the nearest health care providers, even if they are an hour away.
Sick building syndrome is also a major issue contributing to serious health problems. So working on local housing issues, such as helping residents clean or repair their homes, can also help improve local health.

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