Surgeon General Calls for Chronic Disease Prevention
Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu on Wednesday said that the U.S. must focus more on the prevention of chronic diseases to help reduce health care costs and improve the health of residents, the Indianapolis Star reports. At a speech at Indiana University, Moritsugu said that high rates of obesity and smoking have contributed to a national "epidemic of chronic diseases" that threatens the health of residents.
According to Moritsugu, chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, cause seven of 10 U.S. deaths annually, although those conditions often are preventable. He said, "We know what to do to act right now. The challenge is to move our knowledge into action."
Moritsugu added, "Today, we are largely a health-illiterate society. In short, we need to make healthier choices the easy choices" (Berggoetz, Indianapolis Star, 11/30).