Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cheat Disease by Changing Your Environment

It has become clear to many that efforts to halt the growing epidemics of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are failing.

Many experts believe a primary reason is easy access to unhealthful foods and busy lives that squeeze out exercise.

As a result, many new preventative health initiatives in states, cities and communities are being inaugurated across the United States.

On September 28, the American Cancer Society (ACS) concluded that only by creating a "social environment that promotes healthy food choices and physical activity" can the United States reduce cancer deaths linked to obesity and lack of exercise.

In response, on October 6 the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation announced an agreement with several food companies to adopt the ACS' nutritional guidelines for snacks sold in schools. Other initiatives, sponsored by government agencies, universities, or private businesses, are growing in number.

Current U.S. health spending is $2.2 trillion a year, and it could reach $4 trillion by 2015. Taking care of the sick accounts for roughly 96 percent of these costs, with only about 4 percent going toward prevention.

USA Today October 18, 2006

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