Global Warming

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Global Health in 2019

golbaLooking back over more than 30 years working in public health globally and in the United States, I can’t recall a year with as pronounced a divergence: big advances and big setbacks.

Heart health improved in parts of the world, but in the US, the decline in cardiovascular deaths stalled, contributing to a shocking decline in life expectancy. We know more about epidemic preparedness than ever, but preventable infectious disease outbreaks continue. More countries are reducing smoking, but e-cigarettes are hooking a new generation of kids into lifelong nicotine addiction. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of 2019.

All is not bleak. Dedicated leaders and frontline health workers are demonstrating new ways to improve heart health, reduce smoking, encourage healthier eating and prevent epidemics.

We can keep people healthy and not wait until they become sick. We can learn from our successes and from our failures. We can confront and beat the makers and marketers of tobacco, alcohol and junk food.

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