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Who Gets to Make Your Lifestyle Choices—You or the CDC?

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He is the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving behind the post of New York City’s top health official. The New York Post called him “Dr. Buttinsky” because of his policy to ban smoking and trans fats in New York City. He is physician Thomas Frieden. Does he want the CDC to become the Lifestyle Police?

Dr. Frieden worked with New York City doctors to expand the use of electronic medical records and collect blood sugar tests from New York City patients as part of an effort to control the rampant rate of type II diabetes in that city.
It is true that up to 78% of our nation’s healthcare dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. Much chronic disease is controllable—and even curable—by making lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, eating no bad fats, eating more vegetables and fruits, getting more exercise, and supplementing wisely. But is our nation’s healthcare crisis served best by trampling the rights of those who want to make their own healthcare decisions? What if you and your physician don’t feel that tightly controlled blood sugars are the best way to treat diabetes? And what if you want to keep your healthcare records private?
The US has a rich tradition of ensuring certain “inalienable rights” with constitutionally protected freedoms. For example, increasing numbers of Americans utilize complimentary and alternative therapies while undergoing cancer treatment. They value and use their freedom of choice when it comes to their individual healthcare. Healthcare freedom is not just a political issue. It is a freedom and a right that is rooted in the Consitution we hold so dear.

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