Little Things Matter

Re-imagining Our Approach to Disease
Over the past 50 years, we have lived out of a deep story or narrative that with enough investment, we would find cures for cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Yet the real victories, like the reduction in motor vehicle deaths, the decline in lung cancer and the elimination of polio, have largely been due to efforts to prevent disease. Our unwavering belief in biotechnology to solve our health problems fails to recognize that the worldwide epidemic of chronic disease is largely due to the innovative technologies of the past: motor vehicles, tobacco, air pollution, unhealthy and heavily processed foods, and toxic chemicals. Technology and drugs are safe; they are apolitical and profitable. But, we won’t solve our health problems with technology alone; we need social reform and regulations to build healthy cities and curb pollutants and hazardous consumer products.