What are the treatment options for eating disorders?
Psychiatrist and eating disorder specialist Dr. Michael Pertschuk discusses the treatment options for eating disorders. Watch Dr. Pertschuk's video for tips and information on eating behaviors.
DR. SCOTT RATZAN: I think one of the biggest challenges in global health is how people understand what health is, and I call it health literacy.
And not only do I call it that, but there's a definition of health literacy that's part of both the United Nations activities in terms
of global work, but United States has a national action plan on health literacy. And the reason is that many people don't understand the basic skills
or don't have the abilities that are necessary to manage their health. And the system is so complex that people
don't pay attention, or the system doesn't get information to them in ways that they can use them. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Health has been thought of as a basic human right, but it's not just in pursuit of health it's in pursuit of happiness and longevity
and having some values and virtues. I think more now, people realize that health-- not only because it constitutes almost 70% of the GDP
in the United States, but really around the world-- it touches everybody daily. You know what keeps me up at night, is that the world is not paying attention to chronic disease.
It's estimated that $45 trillion will be spent on chronic disease, and we will not be able to address it as people will get worse if we
don't start to prevent it. Can we come up with something that's simple enough, take seven numbers, and put them into one composite
that people can pay attention to? And we've done that recently with what I call a "digital health score card," of looking at people's cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI,
alcohol use, exercise, and tobacco. If you take those seven, they're 75% of the risk factors for chronic disease.
Roll them into one number, and get people to move on that, will begin to at least show some way that people can empower themselves
and a system that can move toward prevention rather than treatment. Infectious disease is probably one of them
that I think we have to worry about in the United States, not just multidrug resistant tuberculosis or extremely drug
resistant tuberculosis, whatever the threats could be. But we need to be able to have surveillance at a level
that we know where both the bacteria, viruses, microbes may be and have a system in place that we're learning from the global health
environment, international health regulations and so forth, so that we're able to, one, identify, sometimes
sequester, and other times treat or prevent any of these outbreaks. I'm seeing it having an effect-- global social media--
on vaccines. I mean, right now in Washington State-- there's places in Washington State that have the same poor coverage as northern Nigeria,
where 30% of people are opting out. Similarly you have vaccines that have an incredible amount of hesitancy.
People in the United States not even wanting to give their children the whole immunization schedule because they've heard of some pieces-- not evidence-based,
whether it's on thimerosal, links with autism, or other pieces. I also see the fact that we think we can have an HIV vaccine in five years or 10 years,
but if people aren't willing to take vaccines it doesn't matter how great that vaccine is. I think at the end of the day, while technology is an enabler,
technology is not the only answer. We're still trying to eradicate disease with vaccines that
are 17th-century inventions. We'll probably have newer vaccines, therapeutic vaccines, vaccines once somebody has something.
There'll be other ways that we're looking at immunology in other areas. I think we need to come up with the basic numbers that make a difference to large populations, where we then
can predict and prevent based upon those numbers. I don't think we need to have one hundred things that we need to know and do.
I think we need to have 10 simple ones that give us about 90-95% certainty.
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