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Toward Optimal Health

On a lonely planet beset by toxic chemicals, animal-to-human infections, cancers of all kinds, rampant obesity and a looming Centenarian Boom, the “One Health” concept just makes sense

Child Obesity

Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, and problem-solving tasks.” — John Medina, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving  and Thriving at Work,  Home, and School.

Public Exposure

In 2010, the President’s Panel on Cancer reported that, in the course of their lives, about 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and 21 percent will die of the disease. And, making a connection between cancer and the wide distribution of potential carcinogens in the environment, the panel added that only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals on the market have been tested for safety.

Inside Job

Carnivores eat their prey from the outside, author David Quammen writes in his 2012 book Spillover. Pathogens attack from within and are no less deadly. They enter our bodies unseen when we breathe, have sex, take a drink of water or just walk in the woods.

Cancer

Last fall, the nation was riveted to the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman afflicted with inoperable brain cancer. She captured the media spotlight when she moved to Oregon to access lethal drugs under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. Maynard had chosen to die before the tumor took her autonomy.

The Silver Tsunami

The stakes are high as boomers retire and put greater demands on the health-care system. In 2017, the U.S. population will hit a tipping point. For the first time, people age 65 and older will outnumber those under 18, according to the National Institute on Aging. This shift is known as “The Silver Tsunami.”