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The Sickness Crisis: America Would Save Over $700 Billion Annually Through Prevention and Health Promotion
Date:9/16/2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- According to every major health organization, many costly and disabling conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic infectious diseases are linked by common preventable risk factors -- smoking, poor dietary habits, physical inactivity and poor hygiene.

Yet, prevention and health promotion are seldom, if ever, factored into the fractious debate about overhauling our health care system. The system is set-up to detect disease and treat acute illness, not to promote health, well-being and prevention.

"America will never win the battle over health care costs if it doesn't address the sickness crisis in this country," says Dr. David Ostreicher, a leading public health professional and author of a new book, "Brush Your Teeth! And Other Simple Ways to Stay Young and Healthy." Dr. David Ostreicher says, "There is no health care crisis, America has a sickness crisis. We are too sick with avoidable illnesses and our present policies, recommendations and legislation do nothing to address this."

Dr. Ostreicher adds, "The answer is not to spend more money on health care. The only answer is to stop getting sick with the most common, avoidable illnesses."

Lack of physical activity costs America over $75 billion a year, according to the World Health Organization, and excessive dietary salt costs America $20 billion, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

Below is a chart illustrating the annual cost savings of $720 billion based on research from prominent national and global health organizations:


                         THE SICKNESS CRISIS
                         -------------------

    Disease           Annual Cost       Avoidability      Savings
    -------           -----------       ------------      -------

    Colds/Flu         $4
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SOURCE Dr. David Ostreicher
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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