The Ornish Program
Dr. Ornish’s program involves 4 key components: Nutrition, Fitness, Stress Management, and Love and Support. You see details describing it, how it works, and the successes it has had on Dr. Ornish’s website here.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s program is now covered by Medicare and many Insurance companies. They would not pay for it if it did not work.
During an interview, Dr. Dean Ornish was asked a question by an audience member about the cost of healthcare. From 44:01 to 47:44 in this video timeline, he explains why some insurance companies are hesitant to provide coverage for diet and lifestyle education. He also lists some of the significant cost savings for self insured corporations and insurance companies who do provide diet and lifestyle education for their employees, and insured members. He mentions more insurance companies are now beginning to pay for this education. The cost savings add to their bottom line profits.
— Estimates are – 75% of healthcare costs are from chronic diseases, which are caused by diet.
— During the Immersion Program, participants are taught the importance of good food in their health.
— When employees get healthy on this program, it inspires other employees to get healthy too.
— People are sick because of what they eat, which can be fixed.
Savings for Individuals and Health Insurance Programs
Whole Foods Company has implemented a wellness program for their employees that saves tens of million dollars in health care costs by having healthy, happy, and productive employees. Not only does Whole Foods save the out of pocket costs to treat employees suffering from chronic diseases, their employees are more productive and don’t suffer from “presentitise” ( an employee shows up for work, but dramatically underperforms because they don’t feel well).
In these videos. John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods, describes how Whole Foods began their employee wellness program, and describes some of the benefits Whole Foods receives.
Other companies and individuals are adopting similar programs.
— Whole Foods spends millions of dollars to help its employees get and stay healthy. The employees benefit,
— and Whole Foods saves more multiple millions of dollars in health care costs. it’s a win-win program.
Dr. John McDougall mentioned he had just complete an immersion program for 70 participants from Whole Foods Markets.
Whole Foods Markets sponsors these immersion programs with Dr. McDougall and 3 other groups around the country because they save money on their health care costs. These savings are in the multiple millions of dollars per year.
John Mackey’s advice given to an audience member on how to live a healthy life — Get control of your diet and Learn how to cook! Or marry someone who does know how to cook!
The Blue Zones
Dan Buettner and his colleagues identified 5 populations around the world that have the longest lifespan, and live a healthy and happy life, free of the chronic diseases that are common in the western world.
These populations have the same characteristics as recommended by Dr. Ornish. They eat a primarily low fat, Whole Food Plant Based diet; they move a lot, as opposed to having a formal exercise program; they have ways of reducing stress; and they have a strong sense of belonging to a group.