While the health of the nation has improved tremendously over the last one hundred years, we are still, unfortunately, beset with issues. While some of these are our fault, many also arise from conditions created by the modern world. Practically none of the health issues discussed in the infographic below were even on the radar in the 19th century.

Prescription opioid overdose and abuse, for instance, is a significant public health threat. Around 46 fatalities from the drug occur every day. It is new.

Obesity wasn’t a significant problem 100 years ago, either. Back then, most people struggled to get enough calories. They weren’t at risk of disease because they were getting too many.

In 1958, the obesity crisis was still a couple of decades in the future. Just 0.93 percent of the population had diabetes. Today, that figure is more than 7.40 percent, with the number rising all the time. Around 47 percent of Hispanics are obese in the US, and 46.8 percent of blacks. The only ethnic group in the country with relatively low levels of obesity are Asians, but even here, the numbers are rising.

Dealing with the current crop of public health issues will take new thinking. While people are living longer, they’re also living sicker and more depressed. Solutions will require the help of health educators, medical service providers, researchers, and government officials.

Are you interested in the big public health issues of our time? If so, check out the following infographic:

Infographic design by University of Nevada-Reno

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