More Than Half of American Children Have a Diagnosed Chronic Illness
The epidemic of chronic illness in children has reached a critical tipping point and there is an urgent need for practical solutions that can be applied immediately. Some startling statistics:
- Rates of autism have risen over the last few decades from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50 children. Autism costs the U.S. $268 billion per year and is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2025.
- Asthma affects 1 in 8 children, and as many as 1 in 6 African American children. Asthma costs the U.S. $56 billion per year.
- One in 3 American children are either overweight or obese; Obesity-related medical costs account for $190 billion or 21% of medical spending in the United States; childhood obesity carries a price tag of $14 billion a year in direct medical costs.
- One in 30 children are diagnosed with pediatric depression. The U.S. spends $83 billion a year on depression.
- It is estimated that at least 10% of American children have ADD/ADHD (one-in-five boys) and 17% are labeled as “learning disabled.” ADHD is estimated to cost the US upwards of $100 billion per year.
The costs of these epidemics are related to symptom suppression and management, not cure or disease reversal. The current health care model, while technologically sophisticated and scientifically rich, is not equipped to deal with the tsunami of complex chronic illnesses that will accompany the next generation of children. Reversing and preventing chronic illness in our children is a human, societal and economic imperative. The current medical model cannot meet this challenge and must be rethought, reengineered and revalidated.
Our children, the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ of national health, are imploring us to take action now. The Documenting Hope Project accepts this challenge by offering an innovative and scalable solution to meet this health crisis.