Global crises are reaching epidemic proportions and our human connections and interdependence with our planet are undeniable. The impact of human actions starting with the Industrial Revolution has had devastating affects on the biodiversity of species and on human and planetary health.
The statistics and predictions for humanity and
our planet that are cited on this page are troubling.
Yet there is hope for the future if WE act now and work together.
WE have the knowledge and the people to
prevent further harm, reverse disease, heal our planet and create a better future.
In The Global Risks Report 2019 14th Edition, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported, “The world faced a growing number of complex and interconnected challenges in 2018, we will struggle if we do not work together in the face of these simultaneous challenges."
Below is a summary of some of the interconnected health and economic challenges we are facing.
Let's use them to inspire all of us to work together to proactively prevent harm, address chronic illness and
create WELLthier Living™ for ourselves, our families, humanity and our planet.
Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change, a year long study conducted jointly between The Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, reported that “climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” Climate change is not just an environmental issue but it has major implications for health, economics, global and local politics, society, culture, education, and security.
We are exceeding Earth's capacities and biodiversity loss is accelerating.
The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. The WWF 144 page Nature Living Planet Report 2016 revealed that by 2012, "the equivalent of 1.6 Earths was needed to provide the natural resources and services humanity consumed in one year."
Increased human pressure – such as conversion of natural habitat to agriculture, over-exploitation of fisheries, industrial pollution of freshwater, urbanization, and unsustainable farming and fishing practices – endanger key environmental systems and natural resources upon which humanity depends. This is increasing the risk of water and food insecurity and is diminishing natural capital at a faster rate than it can be replenished.
"Biodiversity loss is accelerating at an alarming rate. The WWF Living Planet Index shows a decline of 58% vertebrate and 81% freshwater environment species in the 42 year period between 1970 and 2012.
Climate change is exacerbating biodiversity loss and the causality goes both ways: many affected ecosystems—such as oceans and forests—are important for absorbing carbon emissions.
In 2005, The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, issued a special report forewarning this is the first time in two centuries that the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancy than their parents.
In 2018, the CDC reported that US life expectancy declined again for the second year in a row.
This is a trend not seen since WWI.
A study, The Global Burden of Multiple Chronic Conditions, issued in the Preventive Medicine Report, found globally, 1 in 3 adults lives with more than one chronic condition, or multiple chronic conditions (MCC) and accrue a disproportionate health and cost burden. In addition, three in five global deaths are attributed to four major chronic diseases – cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes.
According to the WEF's report, The Global Risks Report 2019 14th Edition,
“This is an increasingly anxious, unhappy and lonely world."
Anger is increasing and empathy appears to be in decline.
Technology addiction is cited as one cause.
Moreover, we don’t know what’s coming next, and
our lack of control manifests itself as psychological stress.
Globally, mental illness is rising, with approximately
700 million people now suffering from a mental disorder.
Five of the top 20 diseases “in the global burden of disease” are mental ones.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization with 500 local affiliates and the America's leading voice on mental health reports the following statistics in America:
The World Health Organization reports depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
Nearly 1 in 2 children in the U.S. have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). ACEs include:
Research demonstrated a strong relationship between the breadth of exposure to ACEs during childhood and multiple health risk factors for adult diseases including ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease, disability, social problems, substance abuse, as well as premature mortality.
Center for Disease Control - Kaiser ACE Study
Drug Use (in past 30 days)
Physician Office Visits
Hospital Emergency Department Visits
Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) is a reaction that is identified for a specific drug in the prescription explanation given by drug manufacturer. In other words, it is an adverse reaction discovered during the drug's clinical trials.
Adverse Drug Event (ADE) is a side effect revealed after usage the drug and is reported by the patient or the doctor who personally experienced or treated the event.
US Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Food and Drug Association training presentation explained:
The CDC reports that adverse drug events (ADEs) cause approximately 1.3 million hospital emergency department visits each year.
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reports that ADEs are increasingly common, in part, because of the substantial increase in prescription drug use.
The rate of children diagnosed with Autism increased 3,300% between 1970s and 2014
The CDC reports that in the 1960s and 1970s the prevalence of ASD was approximately 4 to 5 cases per 10,000 children (or approximately 1 in 2,000+ children).
In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately:
"We forecast annual direct medical, direct non-medical, and productivity costs combined will be $268 billion (range $162–$367 billion; 0.884–2.009 % of GDP) for 2015 and $461 billion (range $276–$1011 billion; 0.982–3.600 % of GDP) for 2025. These 2015 figures are on a par with recent estimates for diabetes and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and exceed the costs of stroke and hypertension. If the prevalence of ASD continues to grow as it has in recent years, ASD costs will likely far exceed those of diabetes and ADHD by 2025."
PubMed, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,