The rise of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases threatens not just the health of Americans but the nation’s “economic competitiveness, national security, and position as a world power,” according to a new report by the Vitality Institute Commission on Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Disease in Working-Age Americans.
A yearlong series of meetings between 25 leaders from the corporate sector, foundations, nonprofits, government and academia, including Dean Linda P. Fried, provided the foundation for the report’s findings, including five recommendations to “catalyze a widespread culture of health in America”:
- Invest in prevention science.
- Strengthen and expand leadership to deliver a unified message for health and prevention.
- Make markets work for health promotion and prevention.
- Integrate health metrics into corporate reporting.
- Promote strong cross-sector collaborations that generate a systemic increase in health promotion and prevention across society.
- A healthy society is more productive and innovative, not least because it reduces “economic drag as fewer resources are allocated toward treating costly preventable diseases,” write Vitality Commission Chair William Rosenzweig, managing partner of Physic Venures LP, a venture capital firm, and Vitality Institute Executive Director Derek Yach. As much as 80% of chronic disease can prevented using existing evidence-based methods.
“Investing in health provides the greatest return on investment for individuals, businesses, the economy, and society as a whole,” says Dean Fried. “This report provides a detailed blueprint for making the prevention of disease a top national priority and shifting our country toward a culture of health.”
About Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
Founded in 1922, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues aspreventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing avariety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit www.mailman.columbia.edu.