The discrepancy between what’s most effective and what’s most prescribed highlights a bigger problem: The health industry is centered on sellable products, and exercise isn’t one.
“Why are we not prescribing an inexpensive, effective treatment? Some of it is, I think, we don’t think of exercise as being a treatment the way a tablet or a procedure or a physical therapy treatment might,” says Carey. “We’re a fairly pill-oriented society. Pills are easy to take, and as a doctor, pills are easy to prescribe,” he says.
Maher agrees. “We’ve got this perverse incentive in our health care system where we encourage people to innovate in terms of drugs, but we don’t have the same system to get people to innovate in terms of physical activity,” he says.
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