Chronic Illness and the State of Our Children’s Health

A nation is only as healthy as its children.

Harry Truman (1946)

Approximately 27% of U.S. children live with chronic health conditions that can affect their daily lives and normal activities. These maladies often contribute greatly to school absenteeism and require continual medical attention.

Many studies suggest chronic health problems, along with learning and developmental disorders, appear to be on the rise. These rising childhood illnesses include, but are not limited to:
  • Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Developmental/Learning Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Food allergies
  • Obesity
  • Respiratory allergies
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spina bifida
Child Chronic Illness Infographic On a larger public health scale, chronic illnesses are also responsible for 7 in 10 American deaths – twice as many deaths as all infectious/communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, combined – and they account for 78 cents of every health care dollar spent. 1

Why are today’s children sicker than ever before?

“While genes may play a role in obesity, asthma and ADHD, environmental and social changes are behind the surge, researchers said”5
In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a comprehensive study that suggests more than 33% of diseases affecting children under the age of five are caused by environmental exposures, and that by preventing these exposures, as many as four million children’s lives a year worldwide could be saved.2

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

“Chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis – are among the most common, costly and preventable of all health problems.”3
2015_10_14 iStock Chronic Illness square

The Price We Pay for Chronic Illness

Unfortunately, the state of health among U.S. children does not reflect the standard of health expected for a child living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. According to a 2010 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, chronic illnesses in children doubled from 12.8 percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006, with low-income, racial and ethnic minority children being disproportionately affected. 4 This disturbing and costly trend would appear to confirm another earlier Harvard study that found U.S. children were sicker today than their parent’s generation. 5
“The number of children with chronic illnesses has quadrupled since the time when some of their parents were kids, portending more disability and higher health costs for a new generation of adults.”
“Doctors and public health officials should be bracing for a wave of chronically ill young adults with weight-related ailments that include diabetes and heart disease.”
As a nation of enormous wealth and prosperity, we have made great strides in controlling infectious diseases. However, the U.S. now must direct resources toward preventing and controlling chronic illnesses in our children.

Prevention is better than cure

Prevention, education, and investing in the health of all children would help prevent the exacerbation of many illnesses, and alleviate the epidemic of chronic disease that currently exists.

Change is possible. Change is necessary!

Steps to a Healthier Child

Health experts agree there is an urgent need to implement targeted interventions aimed at preventing chronic childhood illnesses. Learn More
  • 2015_10_14 Vulnerable child square

    The Vulnerable Child

    There are several risk factors for development of disease. Find out if your child vulnerable.

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  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Chronic Diseases of Youths and Access to Health Care in the United States, 2013 link
  2. World Health Organization, Preventing disease through healthy environments – towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease, 2006 link
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chronic Diseases: The Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the United States link
  4. Journal of the American Medical Association, Dynamics of Obesity and Chronic Health Conditions Among Children and Youth, 2010 link
  5. Children Sicker Now Than in Past, Harvard Report Says, 2007 link

Join the Conversation

your thoughts matter


Gordon S Hale

Schools should function primarily on the health of children teaching appropriate diet and nutrition with all else woven integrally into the curriculum.


What can we do? I’m surrounded by sheeple who say “shame” on ME and minds are so closed a starfish couldn’t pry them open in a year!
I am told that “they” (people in charge of laws) know more than we do and wouldn’t steer us wrong. “They” the pharmacy industry has no reason to keep us sick. And “somebody” would have said something by now. Grr! I’m so angry and so terrified for my 1 grandbaby. Educate speak out thank you for any and everything you do! I especially like your cookie cutter analogy.


As a RN of 23 years who bought into “the medical field (including the pharmaceutical industry) wouldn’t want to keep us sick” thought process, my tune slowly changed after getting deathly ill in 2008 as a 15 year RN. 5 autoimmune diseases, and a few others later, 6 years of medical protocol and slowly dying, Fatigue like you wouldn’t believe (sleeping 16 -24 hours a day), hair falling out, nails brittle, no quality of life, feeling like the worst single mom on the planet, I went to my GI Dr after my 12th hospitalization in 6 years and said…..I’m done doing it your way, I want to see what nutrition can do for me. He gave me the green light and a year later, after a colonoscopy, EGD, biopsies, and bloodwork, was diagnosed in remission, for the first time since diagnosis 7 years earlier, and off 26 pills a day. Here I sit 22 months later still in remission, off all medication still and not perfect with my eating habits either (I’m a stress, nervous, love to eat eater). I’m doing a lot better than I was in 2008, but have a long way to go, but just the fact that the powdered produce supplements that I eat every day along with a healthier diet keeps me out of the hospital, and doctors offices and off medications, there’s a skeptic and cynical person inside of me now. I tell everyone I meet and tell my story everywhere I can. Organic, raw, whole foods, are the way to treat a lot of disease, especially autoimmune diseases. The rashes and uncomfortable side effects when you first start, is just detox, your body getting rid of the crap that’s been making you sick all this time. I’m glad I stuck with it when I almost quit. I feel very blessed and honored to have the responsibility to share my story and struggle with this. <3 and lets all #inspirehealthyliving around the world one post and person at a time. <3 Nurse Mo

jason davis

How about we start with stripping the vaccine makers of their immunity to be sued for vaccine injury. Thats, right, they are protected by from lawsuits claiming that their vaccine caused an injury. Big Tobacco is not protected like that. Second, we remove ALL of the 36 infant vaccines. Once we stop giving our children poison, we will reverse the trend of chronic illness.


EXACTLY! All these kids dying and suffering permanent disabilities with NON-infectious diseases, and the big pharma slaves at the CDC just say “get more vaccines!” And the more vaccinated the kids are, the sicker they get. Since when is a case of measles worse than death, cancer, autoimmune disorders, or being permanently brain damaged?


Since the individual who is for fighting the measles disease suffers tremendously and infects a truly unknown amount. Those that have an autoimmune disease, and the original carrier who was unvaccinated is called patient zero!!! I understand more than anyone may think the fear of vaccination’s. But reality is they save lives, I believe in this current time that those with immune compromised issues who don’t hold vaccination the first couple times and have to have multiple revaccinated before titers against vaccination are at proper protection level. Even before COVID19 we as a country needed to address the issues of the ability to op out of vaccination’s. Sadly it seems like COVID19 will no longer allow this.

I suggest looking at the preservatives we are feeding our children. Why in America do we have the largest female population with autoimmune disease???? Let’s look at when our food system started genetically modified food products

Orsi Stachofsky

Hi Dears,

I am totally on board with what i read here. I moved from Europe 3 years ago to this amazing country the U.S. All i heard at home that America is the country of dreams! I came with opened mind and heart. 1.5 later i was horrified when in the dermatologists asked me if i would be ok doing a biopsy right there. I mean first time visit. Sure i said, thinking if they want to do it now then the spot i found a couple months earlier on my toddlers head must look serious to them. 2 weeks later we got the news, along with the “there is no reason to freak out just yet…” pre-cancer condition. Actually the wording was this: “The biopsy shows enough bad cells in the sample that we would like to monitor it. It is something that could turn to cancer. So we would love to see him in 3 months.” When i asked what can i do in the mean time, the answer was, “Nothing”.
That was very upsetting to me!!! I begin to research, and though they said the spot will grow back and they will do another biopsy, now almost 2 years later it didn’t grow back and we are cancer free. We made some lifestyle changes and some dietary ones as well and we are healthy! Along with my son being cancer free, i am no longer suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, IBD, brain fog, mood swings, depression, joint pain, frequent waking at night, no longer need afternoon naps. My husband has more energy then ever, started making better food and other lifestyle choices, drinks more water and has less back pain from his military injury.

Jerry Atson

My father was diagnosed with ALS in the summer of 2013; His initial symptoms were quite noticeable. He first experienced weakness in his right arm and his speech and swallowing abilities were profoundly affected. We all did our best to seek help for this disease no medications they prescribe worked ,we were all scared we might lost him due to his condition, as he had been his brother’s caregiver a few years earlier for the same disease before he past. doctor recommend nuatural treatment from total cure herbal foundation for his ALS we have no choice to give a try on natural organic treatment ,this herbal cure has effectively reverse my father condition ,losing his balance which led to stumbling and falling stop after the completing the herbal supplement which include his weakness in his right arm and his speech, home remedies from totalcureherbsfoundation com is the best although their service is a little bit expensive but it worth it, they save lives.


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