America’s Children

It’s important not to muddy clinical and health conversations with the tinge of politics. As someone who produces interventional…

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It’s important not to muddy clinical and health conversations with the tinge of politics. As someone who produces interventional programming on prevention, including a collaborative medical program for health care providers including nurses, physicians, and public health professionals, I understand the importance of keeping evidence-based health care clean from political bias. 
My role as founder of Less Cancer is not to share my politics, but rather the peer-reviewed, science-based evidence that we make available globally. Our collaborations with universities, healthcare institutions, government agencies and a range individuals and institutions require that we are guided only by the evidence. 
I’ve always said that no matter what side of the fence you’re on, people need to come together on an issue that is inherently nonpartisan: the effort to protect the futures of the next generation. 
During this Fourth of July weekend, I am reminded of “Less Cancer’s” commitment to the next generation, the commitment to providing education and policy to ensure a healthy future. That next generation is slated to face worse health than its predecessor. Millennials in the UK are on track to be the first generation to be less healthy than their parents by the time they reach middle age, a new report suggests.
I am conscious of the fact that if we are indeed to provide the opportunity for independence for the next generation, we must at the very least ensure they have the tools for a healthy future. 
As far back as I can remember, I have heard stories of my family’s commitment to health care, from my grandparents — even great-grandparents — through to my siblings. 
I am bewildered that today we have pediatric cancer clusters possibly linked to water on the Seacoast in New Hampshire, and rather than addressing the problem directly, we need to resort to politics and lawsuits and almost anything else before we can remove the root cause of the cancer. 
How did we ever get to a place where the health of America’s children is such a low priority?
In the name of “freedom,” we have lost sight of our responsibilities to ensure a healthy future for America’s children. 
The situations like that in Flint, Michigan, should have never happened. According to the EPA, the cost of not eliminating lead exposure to children between 2000–2010 is expected to be about $22 billion in forgone earnings.
Today African-American children have a 500% higher mortality rate from asthma as compared with Caucasian children.
Why is it at the very least we cannot provide to those children who are most at risk? 
The causes of childhood cancer are poorly understood, though different forms of cancer have various causes. A number of studies suggest that environmental contaminants, including radiation, secondhand smoke, pesticides, and solvents, may play a role in the development of childhood cancers. 
What would happen if we as a country asked the most fundamental question: “What impact do our decisions have on the health of American children?” 
I am not a believer that one can legislate good health, but I do know that as a father that we have some fundamental responsibilities to protect those that cannot protect themselves. That is what we can do as Americans, and it’s what we can do to ensure the next generation has a chance to be a legitimately independent generation.

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