Source: code blue
A code blue is a medical emergency. It means a patient is dying and that we must rush to the bedside to revive them. As a physician, I know it well. It is a rush of urgency and desperation that healthcare professionals experience as they act swiftly to save a life. When the time came for naming our documentary, Code Blue was the title that best fit what I hoped to convey to the public. I wanted the name of the film to reflect the emergent matter before us, evoking a gut response to react—not next year or tomorrow, but immediately. Our healthcare system is failing us, and it has been for some time now. Most recent statistics show an increase in seven of the top 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and suicide. The obesity rate in the United States is now a shocking 42.4%, which is sobering considering no state in the commonwealth reported an obesity rate above 15% just 30 years ago. What will it take to finally say enough is enough?
If we know that the most important factor leading to premature death is poor nutrition, then how is it that doctors learn little to nothing about nutrition during their training?
When we embarked on the film project in 2015, the primary initiative was to shed light on the overwhelming body of evidence that supports the importance of diet and lifestyle on the formation of chronic disease. We had no idea its release would be hampered by an acute novel infectious disease. Over the past several months, we have suffered a global period of mourning as our lives have been turned upside down and we have witnessed the loss of so many loved ones. In the midst of this pandemic, Code Blue was released on May 26, 2020, to a community universally in pain. COVID-19 would lead to the cancellation of our theatrical releases in Los Angeles, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as scratch our plans for a film tour. As an infectious disease specialist who trained in pandemic preparedness, admittedly even I was caught off guard. This virus, for which we still have many unanswered questions, remains elusive and has not only managed to take countless lives but has also irrevocably changed societal norms. The development of a safe and effective vaccine is yet to be realized. Trials for therapeutics are ongoing, some cautiously optimistic, but it will still be some time before they are readily available to the general public. How does the COVID-19 pandemic relate to the chronic disease epidemic and Code Blue? It is, indeed, alarmingly relative. The virus has placed an unexpected and startling spotlight on the chronic disease epidemic. On June 15, the CDC published findings on those affected by COVID-19 in the United States from January to the end of May 2020. Data revealed approximately 1.8 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths during this period. Chillingly, those living with a chronic disease were six times more likely to be hospitalized and twelve times more likely to die. The pandemic has further deeply affected our most vulnerable minority communities, with 33% of cases occurring in Hispanics and 22% in Blacks.
We are a society drowning in chronic disease, and so in turn, we are ill-equipped to battle this novel contagion that is most affecting that very subset of the population. The fact that 50% of Americans are living with at least one chronic disease is in large part due to the failures of our current-day healthcare system, which places little to no emphasis on the value of prevention and health promotion.Instead, our misguided approach is fully vested in treating those who are already stricken by disease with pills and procedures.
If we know that the most important factor leading to premature death is poor nutrition, then how is it that doctors learn little to nothing about nutrition during their training? Despite all the scientific evidence, we still miss the golden opportunity to teach the most powerful intervention known to mankind to those who dispense the care. It is a national tragedy. Today we have the knowledge and understanding to prevent nearly 80% of chronic disease, yet we fail to act to disseminate this life-saving message. In my estimation, this borders on immoral. The true purpose of this writing, though, is to share the joy of this newly released film in hopes it will resonate with all who watch it, and to inspire them to share it with others.
The personal appeal of making a documentary is that this would be a medium by which we could bring awareness to an issue of concern to a large audience and potentially catalyze a movement that demands better of our healthcare system, academic institutions, hospitals, and clinics.
It is my hope that Code Blue will awaken something within physicians, healthcare professionals, and communities far and wide to act now. Together we can create a better future for those who follow us. Ironically, the silver lining of the COVID-19 infectious disease pandemic may be that it provided the spark that ignited the end of the chronic disease plague and ushered in an era of wellness and health promotion. In order to achieve this momentous milestone, I know it will take much from many. Code Blue is my humble contribution to this vital effort.
Available at this site to download or watch on Amazon, Vimeo, Vudu, Apple TV, and Google Play: https://www.codebluedoc.com/
- National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 68, No. 6, June 24, 2019.
- McGinnis et al. Committee on Population; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Board on Health Care Services; National Research Council; Institute of Medicine. Measuring the Risks and Causes of Premature Death: Summary of Workshops. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2015 Feb 24. 3, Data from Major Studies of Premature Mortality.
- Eisenberg DM & Burgess JD (2015) Nutrition Education in an Era of Global Obesity and Diabetes: Thinking Outside the Box. Acad Med March 2015.
- Ford et al. Healthy Living Is the Best Revenge: Findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Potsdam Study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(15):1355–1362.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture wrote about the phenomenon on their Facebook page on July 24, 2020 and said that the seeds are being shipping in packaging that identifies the contents as jewelry.
Similar advisories have been issued in Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana.
Olympic gold medalist, Vietnam Army veteran, and Bronze Star recipient Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn is better known for pioneering the treatment and reversal of cardiovascular disease through a whole food plant-based diet.
All across the United States, people are transforming their lives with a plant-based diet. They are beating heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and cancer, and they want you to know that trying a vegan diet could change – or save – your life, too: https://www.milliondollarvegan.com/ma…
As well as containing refined oils and added sugars, the Standard American diet is typically heavy in meat, eggs and dairy, and is low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. As a result, we are seeing a growing crisis of chronic disease, including some of the world’s biggest killers. Check out the testimony of a growing number of plant-based doctors who are promoting the healthcare benefits of a whole food plant-based diet: https://www.milliondollarvegan.com/wh…
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If you, or someone you care for, suffers from an autoimmune disease, the last few months have likely been packed with worry. And the state of your health weighing heavily on your mind.
Even though there is no clear connection so far between autoimmunity and COVID-19, people are becoming more aware of the risks autoimmune disease can pose on their health. Often causing inflammation and heightened risk for other health problems, autoimmunity makes the immune system relatively over-active, often causing it to attack the body.
According to Dr. Anthony Perre, Chief of the Division of Outpatient Medicine for Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), “There is a definite connection between many autoimmune diseases and cancer.”
He goes on to explain that the inflammation so often found within (and thought to be the root of) autoimmune diseases “has been implicated as a factor in the development of cancer.”
For example, inflammatory digestive issues (IBD, Crohn’s, Colitis) create chronic inflammation which increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, if you smoke AND have rheumatoid arthritis, you have a 40% higher risk of developing lung cancer than smokers not living with this autoimmune disease.
Research also demonstrates that chronic inflammation also damages cell DNA, leading to uncontrolled cell growth, which is a hallmark of cancer.
The bottom line here is that anyone with an autoimmune condition should be extra concerned about their risk of cancer…
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With these vegan pizza recipes that feature toppings as diverse as creamed spinach, caramelized onions, and enchilada sauce, every day can be a pizza party!
Loaded with delicious plant-based ingredients, cheese– and meat-free pizza is a smart choice for anyone seeking to eat more healthfully. To help, we’ve put together a handy guide. See below for some of our favorite recipes.
This class explores how we can better serve ourselves and others by adjusting our vantage points to seek out only the positive in ourselves, in others, and in all of life’s experiences.
The Chabad Jewish Center of Coral Springs is dedicated to serving the Jewish community in Southwest Coral Springs and parts of Tamarac, Florida. We offer many adult education classes and seminars on popular topics. For upcoming events and classes please visit out website: www.mychabadcenter.org.