Congress Flunks On Healthy Living

08/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone in Congress quote the Hippo­cratic oath during this year's debate on health care reform -- "First, do no harm" -- I could retire early. What I have not heard quoted by anyone is an admonition almost as well-known and much more appropriate to the current debate: "Physician, heal thyself."

As a nutrition and diet consultant in Washington who has worked with members of Congress and congressional staff over the past two decades, I have more than a passing knowledge of the people now making decisions that will affect the health of millions of Americans. And I can tell you they are about the last people in the world who can speak about what it takes to be in good health.