The idea behind HealthInsightUK is to create a forum for campaigners/academics/clinicians/ journalists who are critical of current approaches to preventing and treating the big five metabolic disorders – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Some are challenging the idea that increasing drug prescribing is the solution, others are writing about how best to stay healthy.
But we all broadly agree that there is a need for a radical change. To move from top down medicine – take your pills – to a system that allows patients to become well enough informed to take much more responsibility for their own health.
We believe that good medicine should aim to treat the underlying cause of a disorder rather than simply help to control the symptoms. That promising treatments should be properly tested, regardless of whether they have a large commercial potential.
That just as drugs can often be the sensible option when we are sick, that diet, an adequate level of nutrients and lifestyle changes are a sensible starting point for staying well. Everyone agrees lifestyle is important in health; however the fact that the vast bulk research funds goes on drug development drugs for the metabolic Big Five shows money is not where the mouth is.
Sustaining health rather than treating sickness is a worthwhile aim in itself. What is not economically sustainable is continuing to rely on drugs to treat the growing burden of metabolic disease, let alone as a way of treating the rapidly rising number of old people with multiple drug regimes that have no evidence base.
At the moment we have a small number of contributors who are skilled in analysing the shortcomings of the existing treatments and proposing what a more balanced approach to health might involve. We hope more will agree to write for us as the site becomes more established
Some have concentrated on exposing the shortcomings of various drugs, showing how they can be far less effective or much less safe than claimed. This makes the case for a lifestyle approach more compelling. Others are directly challenging conventional ideas of what a healthy lifestyle should involve.
Here you will find detailed critiques of the widespread us of various drugs, such as statins, for prevention as well as strong arguments for rejecting the notion that the healthy diet should be based on a low fat, high carbohydrate intake. There will be challenges to the idea that saturated fat is harmful or the claim that reducing calorie intake is the only way to lose weight.
Articles will be informed, backed by evidence and references where relevant but the style will be intelligent journalism rather than academic treatise. By providing a platform for experts in different areas but with a broadly similar outlook we hope to stimulate discussion and new connections. We also hope to develop a clearer and more informed picture of how we might need less medicine rather than more.