Cover: Prescription for a Healthy Nation

Prescription for a Healthy Nation

A New Approach to Improving Our Lives by Fixing Our Everyday World

by Thomas Farley, Deborah A. Cohen

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Abstract

A groundbreaking examination of America's health that points to the crucial role of our everyday world in determining our well-being. America spends more than twice as much for health care as any other nation. So why are Americans among the sickest people in the industrialized world? Introducing a new way of thinking about health, public health experts Tom Farley and Deborah A. Cohen show that the answer does not lie in our medical care system or in our lifestyle choices but rather in the world around us. As they explain, the leading killers of our time fall almost entirely into two categories: injuries and chronic diseases (like heart disease, lung and breast cancer, diabetes, and stroke). For all of its inspiring, high-tech cures, modern medicine just is not very effective at combating these illnesses. And injuries, despite the images of emergency room heroics on television, tend to either kill you quickly or not at all. These major killers are by-products of the way we live (obesity, for instance, leads to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke), and the way we live is shaped much more than we would like to believe by our everyday environment. Taking us step by step through the real causes of death in our time and the factors that influence them, Prescription for a Healthy Nation is at once an expose of how various industries influence our health for the worse, a paradigm-shifting argument about health and disease, and a positive blueprint for how to create a healthier society.

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