Aaron Carroll argues that, “as evidence amasses that lifestyle interventions are as beneficial as medical ones, it may be time to rethink how [the healthcare] system works”:
Every time a doctor writes a prescription, he or she probably earns some money. The pharmacy that dispenses the meds makes some money. And, of course, the pharmaceutical company that makes the medications makes money, too. The health care system understands and even encourages this practice. Insurance pays for it without issue.
But the same health care system is not at all equipped to deal with lifestyle change. No one makes any money if you’re more active. No one would ever think to write a prescription for a gym membership, which could easily cost less than some medications, with the same potential outcomes.