The Case for a True Health Coalition

February 13, 2015 4:12 PM

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The Case for a True Health Coalition

It was in 1993 that we got our first perfectly clear, evidence-based elucidation of the list of modifiable factors that account for the slings and arrows of outrageous medical fortune most common in modern societies: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, obesity, and so on. The paper in question, called simply "Actual causes of death in the United States," took the obvious out of the shadows, and into a spotlight. The obvious was: diseases aren't causes, they are effects. What we really want to know, so we can fix what's broken before rather than after all hell breaks loose, is: what causes the diseases that cause the premature deaths?

The answer in that seminal paper by Drs. McGinnis and Foege was a list of ten modifiable factors -- most modifiable by each of us individually, all modifiable by us collectively -- that together accounted for all of the premature deaths each year in the United States, but for a rounding error. Even ...

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