Health Goals Missed In 2016

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As 2016 draws to a close, it makes sense that we would look back on the year that was and measure its successes and failures.

Unfortunately, in the world of food, there were some pretty significant shortcomings that we’ve seen this year, and the CDC has issued a statement outlining some of the failures that we’ve seen.

Of course, some of the most dire health issues facing America’s populous have to do with nutrition: both food-born illness, and obesity. We are a country with a crippling and far-reaching obesity epidemic, and many believe that it’s a fight that we should’ve won by now.

Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC’s director, has commented on the failures at hand. Most notably, he says, is the issue of childhood obesity. “The data speaks for themselves,” Frieden said “If you look for the goal we set for ourselves, and look at what happened, we didn’t achieve it.”

In 2009, when Frieden took the lead of the CDC, he set some goals that he felt seemed within reach for solving. Among these “winnable battles” were things like smoking, AIDs, teen pregnancy, obesity and nutrition, and auto injuries. These problems, he proposed, were well within our control, were avoidable and with proper education, prevention, and intervention, they could be fixed.

Recently, the CDC released a report card of sorts, which measured the successes of reducing the frequency of the above stated afflictions. Though there were notable reductions in smoking, teen pregnancy, and auto-accidents. But, as mentioned before, there were disappointing results in reducing childhood obesity, as well as infections and foodborne illnesses.

Of course, all of these things are ongoing struggles, which must be fixed over time. However, Frieden (and therefore his initiatives) will be replaced shortly, when the Trump administration takes control of the center, and replaces the administrators.

The health and wellbeing of American citizens should be a nonpartisan issue; but that doesn’t mean that the way that funds are allocated and the tactics employed don’t differ drastically depending on leadership.

Only time will tell when and how these issues will be addressed.