Doubling Down on Prevention
This week, KFC announced its new Double Down sandwich:
Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, and they consume more packaged food per person than their counterparts in nearly all other countries. A sizable part of the American diet is ready-to-eat meals, like frozen pizzas and microwave dinners, and sweet or salty snack foods.
When I read this, I knew it to be true, because it is how I fed my kids.
And with four children, limited time and a limited budget, I really didn’t want to hear about food or the impact that they chemicals in it were having on our health. Life was complicated enough. But when one of my children required immediate care in a leading pediatric hospital, I could no longer afford not to listen.
And so began my lifelong pursuit into the role that diet and nutrition has on the health of children. And what I learned was shocking.
“Food is never just food. Food is love. Food is solace. It is politics. It is religion. And if that’s not enough to heap on your dinner plate each night, we are not only what we eat, we are what we feed our children,” said the New York Times.
The landscape of food has changed, and so has the landscape of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33% of boys and 39% of girls born in the year 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes. According to the American Cancer Society, the US has the highest rates of cancer of any country in the world. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions.
And as the landscape of childhood has changed, so has the business model for the non-profit world.
Today, non-profits are increasingly funded by corporations working to advance a for-profit agenda like Susan G. Komen’s partnership with KFC (to advance sales of “Buckets of Hope”) or FAAN’s partnership with Dey Pharmaceutical (to advance sales of “EpiPens”). The US spends more money per capita on health care than any other country in the world. Prevention is rarely mentioned.
But thankfully, new solutions are being created to help restore the health of our families and our food system as evidenced by Jamie Oliver’s heroic efforts with ABC .
Profits can be used to market prevention, not just prescriptions…
…proving the incredible value that corporations can provide when it comes to preventing chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and allergies. And as we work together, leveraging our collective abilities to affect remarkable change, it is incredibly inspiring to realize what we can accomplish as we put profits towards prevention.
Now that’s something worth Doubling Down on.
To learn more about your ability to prevent cancer and other conditions in our children, please visit the following sites:
- Pure Prevention
- Environmental Working Group
- The Child Health and Development Institute
- AllergyKids Foundation
- Healthy Child Healthy World