The seeds of heart disease risk are planted before birth

Once rare, heart disease is now world's leading killer

Heart disease, rare only a century ago, is now the most common cause of death worldwide. Many explanations for this meteoric rise have been put forth, but most have fallen well short of explaining how this once rare chronic disease could kill the equivalent of the population of Portland, Oregon each year.

About 25 years ago an English epidemiologist named David Barker found that areas of England with high rates of infant deaths following WWII had high rates of adult death from heart disease 50 years later.

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Chronic diseases are not the inevitable lot of humankind. They are the result of the changing pattern of human development. We could readily prevent them, had we the will to do so.

David Barker, Ph.D., from Public Health, 2012

What’s wrong with the American diet?

Too much and too little

What’s wrong with the average American diet? Too much and too little. We consume too much salt, fat, sugar and calories and too little nutrients from fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

Three-quarters of Americans don’t eat the recommend five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables. More than half exceed the recommendations for protein and grain consumption, but this is made up of red meat, high-fat dairy and refined carbohydrates,

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Boys grow dangerously in the womb

Men pay price with shorter lifespans for rapid growth before birth

It won’t surprise anyone to hear that boys and girls are very different creatures, but to find that these differences are noticeable at the earliest stages of development has surprised even scientists. Differences in growth patterns are seen from the moment of fertilization and have long-term implications for adult health.

Upon fertilization, an egg is already carrying the entire genetic blueprint of a new individual, including the sex,

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Better the Future anthem

When will we decide to conquer chronic disease? The moment that we realize the future’s not only in our genes; it’s also in our hands.

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“We all have a role to play in a food revolution that has the power to reduce or wipe out chronic disease in future generations.”

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.