Health issues in the mainstream media

AnchormanHealth issues in the mainstream media have for years been predominately focused on this or that miraculous pharmaceutical drug or procedure to prevent or ‘cure’ the increasing numbers of ills that affect us today.

Natural prevention and even cures have been rarely mentioned—and even demagogued as “quackery.”

But now there seems to be a slight change in the wind as ever more health issues in the mainstream media  focus on the environmental, dietary and medical wreckage bestowed by the dark side of modern life.

Air pollution, for example is referred to as a mass killer that claims many millions of lives a year.

Small particles released from power plants, war weaponry, vehicle exhaust as well as industrial manufacturing and agriculture contribute to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, bronchitis and more.

ADHD drug misuse is soaring. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, stimulants such as Adderall, prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can have severe side effects, including anxiety, elevated blood pressure and seizures.

Colon cancer is on the rise among young adults. A study of more than 260,000 new cases showed that 15 percent of patients were under age 50.

That creates another public health issue, says study author Samantha Hendren of the University of Michigan.

More new and expectant moms are depressed these days. In new guidelines for this increasingly common mental health issue, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends depression screening for moms, and “effective treatments, such as talk therapy and antidepressants.”

More than one-third of Americans are sleep deprived, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Economic status plays a role, with lack of sleep more common among those who are unemployed (I wonder why??).

To get more shut-eye, CDC’s Wayne Giles tells NBCNews.com, people should go to bed at approximately the same time every night and arise the same time in the morning.

Giles also said televisions, computers and mobile devices should be turned off or removed from the bedroom.

Plastic waste fills the oceans. Every year, at least 8 million tons of discarded plastic finds its way into the oceans.

Much of this chemically treated waste ends up in the stomachs of fish, marine birds and other wildlife.

Meanwhile, reports the World Economic Forum, the use of plastics is expected to double in the next two decades.

While reporting on these important health issues in the mainstream media is slowly improving, investigation of the big picture leaves much to be desired.

Why are so many young mothers and others depressed? Why are a third of Americans sleep-deprived? Why are young people getting colon cancer?

Why are so many dangerous Pharma drugs dished out to kids as the only way to handle ADHD?

In our dreams we might actually see the mainstream media investigating the links between Big Pharma, Big Food lacking nutrition, giant fields of pesticide saturated GMOs, sick oceans, sick and dying fish… and sick, fat and sleepless people.

Meanwhile, there is still much we can do as individuals to improve and maintain the health of ourselves and our families.