Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Global Public Health
Andrea Boyle, PhD, FNAP
Patricia Harris, PhD, RN
In nursing education, we are often taught that through diet, exercise and medications one is able to live a healthy life. Fasting is not a subject that readily comes to mind as a way to prevent chronic illnesses from occurring. However, for years, cultures have used fasting as a way to replenish themselves and to clean themselves as if they were new beings. Nursing education does not highlight the process of fasting in any way close to the extent that medications are prescribed to control illnesses.
There are many types of fasting that are used in the United States. Fasting is not a new topic but is not talked about enough in the healthcare field. If one is able to show concise, relevant, up-to-date evidence that fasting can lead to substantial improvement in well-being and health then that has the potential to change society. There could be less stress in society when it comes to having to pay for medications or surgeries that occur as a result of chronic illnesses. Ultimately, fasting has the potential to create a healthier society. It is imperative that alternate methods of controlling chronic illnesses are studied to ensure that the health of our society is promoted.
If society continues to use the same techniques that do not fully work, the result likely will be an endless cycle of backsliding. However, if different methods are used, it could be a game-changer for the fields of medicine and nursing. The future is changing and it could very well start with fasting.
This thesis contains a review of the research literature related to fasting and a proposal for further study.