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A Country Who Cares

How did our country become the fattest country in the world? I have been a physician for over fifty years in the United States. I would guess that most of us elderly have in our lifetime observed the marked increase in obesity in our country. And hopefully it is never us.

Statistically we see that the trend in America is rather enormous from statistics on weights in the 60s compared to the weights around the mid 90s. Much of this weight is contributing to our health problems.

How smart is the government in helping us? Due to a few high-profile deaths and more awareness of abuse, in 1970 the Controlled Substances Act was passed. Amphetamines became Schedule III drugs and a year later, were classified as a Schedule II, or drugs with a high potential for abuse. According to the Canadian Medical Journal in 1975, world medical literature listed only 43 deaths over a 35-year period. Fairly insignificant. However, they did add that there were 26 deaths in Ontario over a period of two years.

There will be over 300,000 deaths in our country this year secondary to obesity. The greatest medicines we have ever had to combat obesity are amphetamines. We did have problems with amphetamines but they were minor compared to the narcotics problems we are seeing now. In 1970 about 5% of Americans were using amphetamines. Today we know from experience that our government is completely ineffective in controlling the use of drugs, legal or illegal.

It is time we started spending the money we now waste on illegal drug control, or legal for that matter, on education. Education is the only combatant we have against drug use and abuse. Can we ever begin to educate our government so they will understand the value of educating our young to make smart choices?

We also need to get the constant advertising of drugs off television and out of mainstream media. A pill does not cure everything in spite of what Americans are taught to think.

Wake up America. Wake up Congress. Our little 5% of the world population does not need to use almost half of the medications produced in the world. We need education.

God bless you all from the Maverick Doctor,

Rick R. Redalen, M.D.

Pick up a copy of my book “God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn,” available on Amazon.

Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit or email him at

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