The Prevention of Global Chronic Disease: Academic Public Health's New Frontier
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A confluence of stimuli is propelling academic public health to embrace the prevention of chronic disease in developing countries as its new frontier. These stimuli are a growing recognition of the epidemic, academia's call to reestablish public health as a mover of societal tectonics rather than a handmaiden to medicine's focus on the individual, and the turmoil in the US health system that makes change permissible. To enable graduating professionals to participate in the assault on chronic diseases, schools of public health must allocate budgets and other resources to this effort. The barriers to chronic disease prevention and risk factor modulation are cultural and political; confronting them will require public health to work with a wide variety of disciplines. Chronic disease will likely become the dominant global public health issue soon. In addressing this issue, academia needs to lead, not follow. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 16, 2011: e1-e5. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300147).