Whenever a new case of mad cow disease or E. coli breaks out, the media follows the story like a lost puppy. The number of cases are carefully monitored and mapped out to track the spread of the outbreak, and investigations are launched to find its cause. These are appropriate actions to be taken whenever a deadly disease comes out, but at the same time, it also gives the public a reason to think that the problem is more serious than it is. Because of this, society concerns itself with these rare, sensational diseases rather than illnesses that are much more likely to kill them. Because of this, people, especially women are taking the right precautions for the wrong things.

According to Marc Siegel, M.D. the odds of getting mad cow disease is one in ten billion. The odds of developing heart disease is 1 in 42, and this is basically a preventative disease. People can lower their risks with exercise, a healthy diet, and by not smoking. Osteoporosis is another condition that women have a high chance of developing. The odds are 1 in 101, and it can be prevented by high calcium intake and weight lifting.

Despite advertisements to help aid in fighting these conditions, it is cases of food poisoning and other rare conditions that make the news, putting sensationalism before numbers. The recent E. Coli scare found in spinach and lettuce resulted in 199 cases and 3 deaths. While this may seem like a significant number, these 200 cases were few compared to the 300 billion meals eaten in the US each year. So unless the illness is in a concentrated area, people should not be afraid of what is placed in front of them in terms of diseases as much as nutrition value.

For related articles visit http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/06/14/healthmag.diseases/index.html and

http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00112/.

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