THE BLOG
12/10/2010 04:40 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Health Coaching Will Create American Jobs

Every now and I then I give up playfulness and edginess to be serious -- God forbid.

Yes, I relish coaching individuals (and through email large numbers) to health. But I'd like to tell you why more people need to enjoy that orgasmic experience of helping others get healthy. We need more of such coaching to save our jobs -- yes, your job and your freedom, especially if you work in a service industry or education.

America's job discompetitveness is caused by our 9 percent greater per employee cost for health care with Germany, and our 12 percent greater cost for health care with Japan and developed China and India. Our differential for medical care costs in the United States reached a point in 1991 -- a point of 6 percent and 9 percent -- and so we became non-competitive for manufacturing and we lost our manufacturing base. We will lose our service and educational base by 2017 when these differentials reach 12 percent and 16 percent.

We are two and three times as expensive as Europe and developed Asia because we have twice and three times the chronic disease, and all but 2 percent of the differential due to four factors (genetics is only responsible for 2 percent of the differential). Medical cost differentials are part of the United States' non-competiveness for jobs (and it's more than salary differentials with Europe and middle class Brazil, Japan, India, and China).

Seventy percent, (78 percent in some data sets) of our medical costs and all of our job differential plus some (we can be less expensive -- our medical care is actually more efficient) is due to four factors we can control:
1) tobacco use,
2) physical inactivity,
3) food choices and
4) lack of stress management.

Some 1.3 trillion of our expenses are reducible to zero if we as individuals take charge of those four aforementioned factors. And we have reached a turning point -- that was reached back in 1991 for manufacturing -- for jobs in our service industries and education. But we can retake these jobs and our competitiveness -- it starts one person and one medical coach at a time. You know I like to leave you with action steps and here's what I have for you ... to retake jobs for America:

So today, you already know how to avoid tobacco (and yes joint smoking is four times as bad as tobacco smoking -- so eat brownies if you are going down that route), and to meditate -- so walk 10,000 steps today and avoid the foods that are not "Let's-make-a-deal foods" -- I call them the five food felons:

1. and 2. Simple sugars and syrups. This includes brown sugar, dextrose, corn sweetener, fructose (as in high-fructose corn syrup), glucose, corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, maltose, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, evaporated cane sugar, raw sugar, and sucrose. Keep a little table sugar, honey and maple syrup handy, because you'll use some for recipes.

3. Saturated fat. This includes most four-legged animal fat, milk fat, butter or lard, and tropical oils, such as palm and coconut.

4. Trans Fat. This includes partially hydrogenated fats, vegetable oil blends that are hydrogenated, and many margarines and cooking blends. (If you must, use cholesterol-fighting sterol spreads such as Promise and Benecol.)

5. Enriched flours and all flours other than 100 percent whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat. This includes enriched white or non-100 percent whole flours, semolina, durum wheat, and any of the acronyms for flour that is not 100 percent whole wheat -- they should not be in your kitchen, your mouth or your body, if you care about jobs in America.

Yes, YOU control whether America has service and education jobs or not, freedoms or not, and it's much easier than influencing a House Leader or President that's been in a smoke-filled room. It's YOUR lifestyle choices. So save a job by snuffing out tobacco, physical inactivity, the five food felons, large plates, and unmanaged stress. And yes, it is that important.