What We Are Up Against

Every month HeartUk have a heart support meeting for people who have fallen victim to the modern western diet. Anyone can go along and I attended one this morning for the 5th and quite possibly the last time if the organisers have anything to do with it. My problem with this group is that perhaps they should not preach but they should at least lead by example. Arriving each time to find biscuits on all the tables and high sugar prizes such as Thorntons chocolates for the raffle prizes is paramount to endorsing these products to a group of people who really need to get off them. You would not expect to be greeted by cigarettes at a lung cancer support group would you ?.

I decided to have a word with the chair on this matter but had to wait whilst he chatted to a new member who was quite worried about his recent event and recovery. Turns out he had a heart attack and a stent fitted. The chair assured him that his arteries are rather like domestic pipes that get furred up with age and his treatment has now opened them and he can get back to his normal life. That by the way would be the ‘normal’ life that put him in the room in the first place. When he had finished I decided to ask the new guy about his diet. He assured me it was good as he never ate burgers. Realising that not eating burgers is no guarantee against HD I asked him to give me an example of his daily diet. he replied porridge for breakfast with orange juice. I stopped him and suggested that fruit would be better consumed whole so that you get the fibre and just as important, the skin or pithe of the fruit.  The chair jumped in immediately and stopped me ‘You cannot offer advice to members, he has dietary advice and you cannot interfere with that’.  I suggested that I stick to merely stating what I prefer to do. ‘No you cannot do that either’. I pointed out that telling the guy that his arteries are like domestic plumbing was not only inaccurate but far more dangerous than anything I was likely to say. I also pointed to the dietary advice sitting on the tables at every meeting we have.

Maybe I am too much of an optimist when I suggested that he take anything from the inaccurate dietary guidelines in their magazine and replace the biscuits with it and at least that would be an improvement even if not as good as my suggested walnuts and almonds.  If he had at least held up his hands and said ‘on that one point I agree’ I could have settled that what we have here is not a complete stitch up but he still would not have it.


3 thoughts on “What We Are Up Against

  1. People are encouraged to think that statins, stents and bypasses are magic bullets which. will cure them. Many GPs think likewise. None of the GPs in my local practice has ever mentioned diet. Different drugs, yes, diet no. Aggressive treatment with drugs is the answer for some, but it has to be backed up with a lot of aggressive advice on diet and lifestyle. NHS health advisers need to stop pulling their punches and tell it like it is!

    1. To be fair, GPs vary. A couple of mine have mentioned diet, whereas two practices wouldn’t see beyond statins so I left them.

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