Recent headlines are enough to make any mother quake.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism rates have doubled. Research just published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that in the U.S. in 2007 about 1 in 91 children ages 3 to 17 were somewhere on the autism spectrum. That's more than any previous survey has found.
The new study then goes on to cite earlier research showing that the lifetime medical cost of dealing with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) is $1.6 million; other research cited says ASD-related costs borne by the healthcare system rose 142% from 2000 to 2004.
While industry-funded "experts" may suggest that this study is based on subjective data, industry-funded "experts" also suggest that a bowl of Cocoa Krispies is a SMART CHOICE for our children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions, one in two minority children and one in three Caucasian children born in the year 2000 (this year's fourth graders) are expected to be insulin dependent by the time they reach adulthood and now one in 91 children has some degree of autism.
Today, health care spending represents 17% of our GDP, but perhaps it is time that we view our children as more than just a sales channel for Big Pharma's moneymaking medicine.
The unhealthy truth is that today one in three American children now has autism, allergies, ADHD or asthma.
In 1946, Harry Truman said, "A nation is only as healthy as its children."
Shouldn't we stop playing Russian Roulette with ours?
Robyn O'Brien is the founder of AllergyKids, which is working to help people protect the health of their families.
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