Obesity rates in US have hit an all-time high with one in three people considered to be obese. In Australia, more than half are overweight or obese, and similarly in the UK, with Ireland having the lowest levels of obesity in the Anglo-sphere. Likely knock-on effects of being overweight include premature ageing, hypertension, and diabetes – together with poor dietary choices, smoking and lack of exercise leads to a rising prevalence of chronic disease.
In Australia, Chinese medicine has now become part of mainstream health care for treating the diseases associated with obesity. Chinese practitioners operating in Australia have to be registered with the Chinese Medical Board of Australia. Proponents of Chinese medicine are working with leading universities to generate evidence that particular Chinese therapies are safe and effective. Simultaneously, they have developed a double degree that combines the principles of Chinese medicine with the evidence based approaches of Western medical science. The advantage of Chinese medicine over Western is that it does not rely on drugs and surgery but concentrates on more therapeutic options for treating chronic diseases, using acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
With the personal and public stresses that obesity causes, it’s certainly worth considering Chinese medicine at a more global scale, at least as university studies continue to be conducted, evaluating the effectiveness of alternative medicine.