Research suggests that many of the these illness have been linked to diet, especially the ones mentioned. Therefore, one way to reduce the prevalence of MCCs within a population and remove the burdens produced by them is to improve diet. This abstract from a research report illustrates the scope of the problem:
“Between 60% and 75% of adults aged 65 or older have multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). This burden of MCCs is expected to grow as the large cohort born between 1946 and 1964 age and live longer and as the prevalence of certain chronic conditions increases in the population as a whole (1,2).
Many older adults experience limitations in their ability to perform basic activities of daily living (BADLs), such as bathing, eating, and getting in and out of a bed or chair. These limitations reduce an individual’s capacity for independent living and can predict nursing home admissions, frailty, and mortality (3). The risk of BADL limitations may increase with the presence of MCCs (3–5).
Both MCCs and BADL limitations are more common among people in low-income communities than those in higher-income communities (2,6), and racial/ethnic disparities are also well documented (7,8). For older adults with fewer resources, limited assistance with in-home management of complex medical conditions and options for alternative care facilities may put their overall health and well-being at greater risk.”
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2013/13_0159.htm: Study: Multiple Chronic Conditions and Limitations in Activities of Daily Living in a Community-Based Sample of Older Adults in New York City, 2009.
The diet which has the most profound affect on health is a whole foods, plant-based diet, as advocated by these doctors and nutrition researchers. It therefore stands to reason that one way to reduce MCCs in populations at risk and improve their quality of life, empowerment, and ability to control their future, is to incorporate more elements from plant-based foods into their diet or encourage a complete change. With the burdens of ill health so acute in these cases, focusing on diet can offer a way to overcome the dilemma.