Dr. David Katz Presenting at Transform 2014


Guest blog post from Theresa Lewis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs 


“Healthcare does not make health.” That was a simple statement made by David Katz, M.D., M.P.H as he presented to the Transform audience.

According to Katz, “There is a gap between what we know and what we do with what we know.” He goes on to explain, “We live in a world that has transformed around us, but not necessarily in a good way,” for example, people consume more calories and take part in less physical activity.

Katz believes we need to “translate” what we know about being healthy and take action.  He admits, “No one thing we do will transform the problem!” He used an amazingly simple analogy- it’s like using sandbags at a levy. “One sandbag does not keep us dry!” We need to use multiple sandbags and work as a community to make an impact and be successful.

The approach Katz took with his presentation involved simplicity and common knowledge.  He said “Diseases aren’t causes, they are effects.” There are numerous premature deaths caused by tobacco, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Katz explains quite simply, “lifestyle intervention” is the medicine - quit tobacco, improve diet, and increase activity. In addition, he addresses sleep, stress, and love, saying if you “get those right, everything else is less important.”

One approach to promote better health is to start with children. Katz suggests we should “raise daughters and sons who aspire to being healthy.” He has developed programs like Nutrition Detectives, which teaches kids about nutrition labels and “educates parents” by way of the children learning it. He promotes Turn the Tides program which features a video message for tweens and teens: Unjunk Yourself geared toward “reversing trends in chronic obesity and disease.”

An indisputable gleaning from listening to Dr. Katz:  Health is essential, because once you lose it nothing else will compensate!




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