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View Diary: Cholesterol Challenged? My Cardiologist's Secret and the TED Talk that changed my life (99 comments)

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  •  That's a great question. (12+ / 0-)

    The short answer is, generally physicians are more compliant than the general population when it comes to a reasonably healthy diet. That's partly a reflection of income, as it's more expensive to eat lots of fresh produce than Mountain Dew and Dorito's. We also smoke at much lower rates than the general population. On the other hand, rates of alcoholism and drug abuse are higher among physicians than in the population at large, which likely reflects access (cough-anesthesiologists-cough) and stress behavior.

    Stress is only a factor for cholesterol in that it drives compulsive over-eating of salty, high-calorie-density foods, which in turn causes obesity and high cholesterol levels as well as hypertension.

    It's not really a matter of 'how much good preaching does'. Providing recommendations and coaching on healthy lifestyle choices including appropriate diet, regular exercise and avoiding toxins like tobacco is a form of behavior modification. It's just one with a track record that is mixed, and one we don't devote nearly enough attention to. Meanwhile, the food/tobacco/alcohol industries are spending literally tens of billions of dollars yearly in a very carefully crafted massive campaign of intentional behavior modification that frequently overwhelms my attempts.

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