Creating a Culture of Health, Part 1

On Chronic Disease


1 out of 2 Americans is affected by chronic disease; 1 in 4 has multiple chronic diseases.
27 percent of kids now have a chronic disease, up from just 13 percent in 1994.
7 of 10 deaths in the U.S. are caused by chronic disease.
50 million Americans (approximately 1 in 6) have an autoimmune disease (more than cancer and heart disease combined).
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have either prediabetes or diabetes. (100 Million)
At any given moment, roughly half of the adults in the U.S., including 9 out of 10 adults over age 60, are taking at least one prescription drug.
Almost a third of adults take two or more drugs.
Almost 30 percent of all teens are now on a prescription drug, as are 20 percent of young children.


Some of the Consequences

80% of the cost burden from chronic disease is due to lost productivity, 90% of which is presenteeism (at work but not at full productivity because of preventable health issues) and absenteeism (due to chronic health issue). – Almanac of Chronic Disease.
 America spent just under $310 billion on pharmaceutical drugs in 2015 (IMS Health 2016)
This generation is the first in which kids are expected to live shorter lifespans than their parents.
1 in 5 Americans struggles to pay medical bills, and three in five bankruptcies are due to medical expenses.
Medical care is the third-leading cause of death in the US., according to analyses published in BMJ in 2016 and JAMA in 2000.
Chronic disease will generate $47 trillion in healthcare costs globally by 2030 if the epidemic is unchecked (Duff-Brown, 2017). That’s more than the annual GDP of the six largest economies in the world.


Three Reasons Why Conventional Medicine Has Failed to Address Chronic Disease Adequately

Our modern diet and lifestyle are out of alignment with our genes and biology. (Lifestyle factors, not genetics, determine most of chronic disease burden.)
Our medical paradigm is not well suited to tackle chronic disease.
Our model for delivering care doesn’t support the interventions that would have the biggest impact on preventing and reversing chronic disease.
- Kresser Institute, 2017


The next major advancement in health for people is not going to be technological, it is going to come from individuals taking responsibility for their own health by making significant lifestyle changes. If we change course right now, toward preventative care (lifestyle-based intervention programs, health coaching, etc.), by 2023 the US could avoid 40 million cases of chronic disease and reduce the economic impact by 27%, or 1.1 trillion annually. Lifestyle-based interventions are the key to reversing chronic disease costs. – The Milken Institute, Oct. 2007