We need your help immediately - Please join the Children's Health Environmental Coalition – CHEC - in a campaign to help save the largest study of America's children ever, the NATIONAL CHILDREN'S STUDY.
The National Children's Study is our only opportunity to identify the preventable and environmental causes of chronic diseases (asthma, obesity, developmental disabilities, childhood cancer and birth defects) that are reaching epidemic proportions in our children.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to urge our elected officials in Congress that budget considerations should not get in the way of our children's health.
Congress must provide NICHD an additional $69 million in Fiscal Year 2007 to support the National Children's Study. The solution to a crisis in our nation is in our grasp.
We need your help in showing support for funding of the National Children's Study.
The House Appropriations committee can help by placing in its appropriations bill a $69 million increase in the NICHD allocation, and send a clear message that the National Children's Study should move forward.
The National Children's Study is a large longitudinal study intended to follow 100,000 births from pre-pregnancy and/or early pregnancy to adulthood (21 years of age). The Study will evaluate the effects of chemical, biological, physical and psychosocial factors on the health of children and young adults, as well as gene-environment interactions that may help identify individuals who are most susceptible to disease. The major outcomes that will be focused on in the Study include pregnancy outcomes, neurobehavioral development, psychiatric conditions, asthma, injuries, diabetes, obesity and physical development.
The National Children's Study should be a national priority if America wants to remain competitive fifty, or even fifteen years from now. Last year, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine predicted that obesity and diabetes would lead to reduced life expectancy for the first time since the Great Depression. Obese children become obese adults, suffer heart disease and stroke earlier, and burden our health care system. Poor health undermines our economy. Our nation already spends 17% of its gross domestic product on health care. Spiraling health care costs hurt taxpayers, hurt productivity and hurt competitiveness. In the 1940s, we faced a similar epidemic in adults. Heart disease and stroke were killing forty year olds. A study in Framingham, Massachusetts - the Study on which the National Children’s Study is modeled - paved the way for the prevention of heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancers. Life expectancy has soared since then. Now we face a similar epidemic among our children, and the need for another study like the Framingham Heart Study.
By working with pregnant women and couples, the study will gather an unprecedented amount of data about how environmental factors alone, or interacting with genetic factors, affect childhood health. Examining a wide range of environmental factors – from air, water, and dust to what children eat and how often they see a doctor – the study will help develop prevention strategies and cures for a wide range of childhood diseases. By collecting data nationwide – before diseases arise – the study can test unproven theories and generate hypotheses that will inform spin-off studies for years to come. Simply put, this seminal effort will provide the foundation for children’s healthcare in the 21st Century.
Fortunately, Congress recognized the need for a National Children's Study five years ago, and has provided over fifty million dollars in Congressional appropriations to support planning by seven federal agencies. Thousands of researchers in every state of the nation have worked on planning the Study so that the solution to a crisis in our nation could be in our grasp. But the Bush administration proposed ending the Study altogether, stating that the budget could not support a study of children's health. The House Appropriations committee can reverse this decision right now by placing in its appropriations bill a $69 million increase in the NICHD allocation, and send a clear message that the National Children's Study should move forward.
The outcome of these efforts will provide the most complete data to date on the effects of early life exposures to multiple environmental factors, and will be key to understanding the toxicity of a number of environmental agents, life stages of susceptibility, and genetic factors that contribute to susceptibility.
The Study will provide a wealth of data to improve the health of the nation's children for years to come. Thank you for your support and taking action.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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