The Importance of Eating Healthy and Being Active



One of the most frustrating yet potentially powerful conversations I have with patients is about their lifestyle. It is not uncommon for me on a daily basis to discuss patients poor lifestyle and how it is affecting not only their health but their wallet. Being sick costs a lot of money and good years of life. It is estimated 2/3 of us in the USA are either obese (BMI 30+) or overweight (BMI 26-30). Along with being overweight, there is an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, heart failure, depression, liver disease, menstrual problems, infertility, gallbladder problems, etc. Holy-smokes, that is a boat load of problems and all because of me not doing the things every day to invest in myself.

My experience is when people change their lifestyle by eating the right things and exercising every day they lose weight and as they lose weight they also lose many things including medication, pain, depression and progression of the above mentioned problems. I have had the conversation many times which goes as follows, “I just want you to know that I do care for you and really enjoy you as a patient. But, when you go home tonight and have “your” stroke or heart attack, I will go to my home and have dinner with my wife and kids. When you are lying in your bed having someone change your diapers because you can’t, I am out riding my bike or enjoying a run. Though I do care for you as a person and patient, no one cares for you as much as you do! Will I lose sleep because of what you did to yourself? I will feel really bad for you but the answer is-No, If I did I would never sleep! Then I would be at risk of bad health.

So what do you need to do? Start! Start today to invest in yourself! If you’re worried about starting, see your doctor. Once you start do so moderately and don’t go out full steam which likely will set you back a few steps with an injury. Progress as you can tolerate and before you know it you will feel great! Go watch a great documentary which inspired me to take better care of myself called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” If they can do it you can. I hope this inspires you as much as it did me. Is change easy? No! Is it worth it? Only you know what is worth it to you but I would suggest it is!


Who is Dr. Douglas Roland Smith?

Dr. DI was born and raised in Salt Lake City. Following graduation from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in biology, I was fortunate to spend five years conducting medical research while attending the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As an outgrowth of my medical education I developed an understanding of many problems with the current fragmented and inefficient health care model. I chose to become a family medicine physician, envisioning primary care as the essential central cog in a more patient-centered and holistic approach to future health care reform models.

In 2006 I completed my medical training from the Intermountain Healthcare McKay Dee Family Medicine Residency in Ogden, where I worked closely with the indigent and minority populations of Northern Utah. Following residency and until last last year, I have been engaged in full-time practice with Intermountain Healthcare in the underserved, or financially troubled, and demographically diverse area of West Valley City, Utah. These experiences have etched in me the desire to help solve the problems far too many suffer every day in relation to obtaining affordable and quality care.

Through my clinical experience, I have tried to be a front-line adopter of the best clinical practices with Intermountain Healthcare, which is known worldwide for their high-quality clinical processes and outcomes. In 2010, I became board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine as an extension to my Family Medicine Board Certification.

It is my goal and passion to develop new and inventive ways to provide quality care to patients in a fiscally constricted environment. To accomplish this lofty goal and disrupt the market with payment reform, I took a position with Arches Health Plan as their Chief Medical Officer last year.