When Barack Obama was asked by a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist during an April 29 town hall meeting how complementary & alternative medicine will fit into his healthcare agenda, the president said he is an advocate for doing what works. “I think it is pretty well documented through scientific studies that acupuncture, for example, can be very helpful in relieving certain things like migraines and other ailments—or [be] at least as effective as more intrusive interventions,” Obama told gatherers at the meeting, which took place in Arnold, Missouri. “I will let the science guide me.”
The president went on to tout the appointment of former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services as a step in the right direction for building a healthcare system that is based on science, cost efficiencies and disease prevention. “One basic principal that we know is that the more we do on the prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road,” Obama said. “So giving children early checkups, making sure that they get immunized, making sure that they are diagnosed if they’ve got eyesight problems, making sure that they’re taught proper nutrition to avoid a life of obesity—those are all issues that we have some control over. And if we’re making those investments, we will save huge amounts of money in the long term.”
Although Obama’s comments certainly shine a ray of hope for complementary therapies, including dietary supplementation, they also further demonstrate the need for such therapies to be backed by solid, defensible research. Nutrition Business Journal will explore the state of supplement research in our Nutrition Industry Overview issue, which publishes in July. To order your copy of the issue, subscribe to NBJ or download a free 32-page sample issue, go to www.nutritionbusinessjournal.com.
NBJ's 2009 Integrative Medicine report provides a detailed analysis of the $45 billion U.S. integrative medicine market.