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The End Of Dieting, By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

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The State of Children’s Health

Below is the current state of children’s health in 20 fast facts. The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® strives to turn these facts around through education, research and advocacy. Children are our greatest resource. Their environment shouldn’t harm them; they cannot protect themselves. We must!

  1. ADD, ADHD, etc. - About one in six children has a developmental disability or developmental delay. These include speech and language disorders, learning disabilities and ADHD.  (CDC)
  2. Allergies - Approximately three million children (3.9%) under 18 have a food or digestive allergy.  From 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18% among children under age 18 years. Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.  (CDC)
  3. Arthritis - Childhood arthritis is the 4th most common chronic disease in children, and it affects more than 1 in 1,000 kids. (Dr. Yukiko Kimura, Hackensack University Medical Center)
  4. Asthma - One in every 11 children in the U.S. has asthma. Asthma is the most common long-term disease of children, and is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. (CDC)  

  5. Autism - Approximately 1 in 88 American children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The rate for boys is 1 in 59, which is four to five times higher than for girls.  ASD's are now the fastest-growing developmental disorder. (CDC                                                                                                                                                          
                          
  6. Bipolar - Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is most often developed in the late teen or early adult years, with at least half of all cases starting before age 25. It is called early-onset bipolar disorder in children, is treatable and usually lasts throughout a person’s lifetime.  (National Institutes of Mental Health, NIH)
  7. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15.  Approximately 10,730 new cases of pediatric cancer are expected to be diagnosed in children 0-14 years of age annually.  Most epidemiologists and cancer researchers would agree that the relative contribution from the environment toward cancer risk is about 80-90 percent.  (National Cancer Institute)
  8.  Child Welfare - In a 2007 UNICEF survey, the U.S. and Britain ranked last among 21 affluent countries assessed on the welfare of children. The criteria included a range of indicators, from infant mortality to whether children ate dinner with their parents or were bullied at school. (UNICEF, Innocenti Report Card 7: Child Poverty in Perspective, 2007) 
  9.  Children in Poverty - Approximately 1 in 6 children ages 0–17 live in poverty. (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2008)
  10. Chronic Diseases - Chronic diseases kill twice the number of people than all infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined.  There are three well-established and well-known causes for most chronic diseases: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use. Conditions before birth and during childhood affect health during adult life.  (World Health Organization)
  11. Diabetes - One in every 400 to 500 American children and adolescents has type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes, is now becoming more common among children and adolescents. Approximately 15,000 youth (under age 20) in the United States are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually, and about 3,700 youth are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually.   (CDC)
  12. Infant Mortality - In the U.S., there are 8 child deaths per 1,000 live births.  Although the under-5 mortality rate in the United States has fallen in recent decades, 40 countries performed better than the US in this category. (Save the Children, State of the World’s Mothers 2011)
  13. Obesity - A poor diet and lack of exercise have contributed to an epidemic in childhood obesity, which affects 1 in 6 kids. (National Institutes of Health) In the past 20 years, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6-11 has more than doubled, and more than tripled for 12-19 year olds.  (JAMA in CDC)
  14. OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, affects approximately 2.2 million adults; one-third developed symptoms as children.  OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent, unwelcome thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors, and can also be accompanied by eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, or depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, NIH)
  15.  Premature Birth - Nearly 1 in 8 babies are born premature.  This is an increase of 36 percent in the last 25 years.  (March of Dimes)
  16.  Sickle Cell Anemia - Sickle cell anemia occurs in approximately 1 in every 500 African American births and 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic American births. It is a condition in which red blood cells can become sickle-shaped and block blood flow.  (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute - National Institutes of Health)
  17. SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the lives of nearly 7 babies every day, which is almost 2,500 infants in America each year. SIDS is one of the leading causes of death among infants from one month through one year of age in the U.S. (CJ Foundation for SIDS)
  18.  SUDC - SUDC, the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months, causes approximately 1.3 deaths per 100,000 children. In comparison, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is 40 times more common. (CJ Foundation for SIDS)
     
  19. Tourette Syndrome - Approximately one in 100 Americans has some form of Tourette Syndrome. It is a neurological disorder characterized by multiple involuntary movements, called motor tics, and uncontrollable vocalizations called vocal or phonic tics. Early symptoms are almost always present in childhood, with average onset between 7 and 10 years.   Males are affected 3 to 4 times more often than females.  (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH 
  20.  WHO Stats - The World Health Organization estimates that the environment significantly affects more than 80 percent of major diseases. That includes childhood cancer, diabetes and asthma. In addition, more than a third of diseases in children under the age of five are caused by environmental exposures.  (World Health Organization)

    Link to: The State of Women's Health

Revised 01/2013