Why we need statistics

by Amina Tumi, Hair & beauty Salon Owner, London and Bryony Inge, Campaign Manager, London.


“Cancer deaths among women to rise 60% by 2030”, new report warns1.

Have we ever taken a moment to stop and really consider what statistics are actually there for and what their purpose is?

For example:

  • The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer alone could almost double to 3.2 million a year by 2030 from 1.7 million in 20152.
  • An estimated 17.5 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke3.
  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression4.

Statistics are a way to find out what is taking place in our world on a mass scale and can be used to help us really understand diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, endometriosis, depression, stress, anxiety etc… so why ignore something that has great purpose and potential?

If we are largely ignoring them (and we are), we have to ask ourselves:

Do we really want to get to the bottom of our woes and, are we prepared to see more than we currently do when it comes to our own contribution to the state of the world?

Why have we arrived at a point where we are able to read statistics of such magnitude and yet turn a blind eye with not an ounce of responsibility? We read statistics but we are not deeply connecting to what they are presenting. We may engage with them but it continues to only be on a surface level; the reality is we don’t want to know that we are a part of them, we don’t want to feel the state of the world, the rot that we are all contributing to, the very fact that we DO KNOW this is taking place but we are not prepared to do anything about it. We like to moan about life, the way it currently is, the parts that are not what we deem successful but in this, are we prepared to step forward and make the necessary steps that are required to bring about change?

So where are we going, what will life look like in 20 years from now? It is obvious by the headlines above that we are heading into more turmoil, more illness, disease and more conflict.

Are we willing to stop this tunnel vision way of living, thinking that we are not responsible for what is occurring in life or do we wait until we become a statistic of illness and disease – and even then, do we see this an opportunity to change the way we are living, knowing this has contributed to the illness in the first place?

Given the increasing evidence that lifestyle is a major determinant of health and that only 5% percent of all cancers are genetic, statistics invite us to deeply look at the way we are living on a daily basis in all areas of our lives and to see whether we are making choices that are truly healthy or not.



1) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/02/cancer-deaths-women-rise-warning-lancet

2) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/02/cancer-deaths-women-rise-warning-lancet – See also Lancet Medical Journal http://www.thelancet.com/series/womens-cancers

3) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/

4) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/


Read more:

  1. Global statistics on women
  2. World statistics day -October 20th 2015


504 thoughts on “Why we need statistics

  1. Figures like 1.7m with breast cancer, 17.5m dying from cardio-vascular disease, 350m with depression. These are staggering numbers of people – they look small on paper but imagine you tried to get them all into the same room. The room would have to be the size of the world! It’s so important we don’t become immune to this, and at the same time… imagine what a 1% change would make to the world…

  2. Being able to use numbers to support how we live in society is super important, it is just what we choose to do with those numbers, to always provide a meaning and reference to them, not just letting them stand on their own, but to support.

  3. It is interesting to consider the extent of the statistics and what they highlight. The issue is though that these are often viewed in isolation so we do not see the whole mess we are actually in. What if we put health, economic, wellness and crime together and see the real extent to which these issues are playing out in our lives?

    1. For sure Joshua the full picture that could be told is not we are fed organised statistics so we will not want to see the big picture and once statistics are shown in sections we can say to ourselves I am not part of that. For example putting all the breast cancer statistics in the headlines, just about every man can say well I am not part of that. But what if, when they put up breast cancer statistics they put up prostate cancer beside them now that might alter someone to say “what’s going on”.

  4. The numbers indeed stack up to reflect that our current lifestyles don’t support our bodies or lives and yet we continue to ignore the facts. We must be heavily invested in not dealing with aspects of our lives to continue to ignore the pain we are in.

  5. As a society we have a great knack of dismissing information that we don’t want to hear and don’t want to face. Statistics can act as a road sign, alerting us of what lies ahead if we continue on the same track. We can either take heed and change course or carry on regardless.

  6. Yes statistics give us not only figures but the trends and changes, so as with the breast cancer figures above we get to see how in just 15 years the figures have doubled for diagnosis each year, that is really huge. Sometimes the figures do differ from one study to another, but if you look at say, half a dozen it is clear the general picture is the same, often a shocking one, and we do need to look at this.

  7. Why are we so complacent with numbers when it comes to our health? We use the WEB to research our new purchase of a washing machine and the numbers of people that recommend the product. We buy new cars on the percentages of reliability, performance and how economically it runs. So, why is the fact, according to numbers shown in Australia that the chances of getting prostate cancer in men over 50 is one out of two, of no concern?

  8. Do we talk to our children about their choices and how these choices relate to illness and disease or do we allow them to live in an isolated bubble of irresponsibility until they reach teenage years when we start to see the repercussions of this.

  9. The numbers in the statistics have become larger then life, meaning they are so staggering we have lost the ability to relate to them. We therefore should stop and read this statistics in a way that relates to our own lives, family and friends. Only if we are willing to relate to what these figures are communicating with us, what they really mean, will it awaken a sense of urgency within us.

    1. Yes I agree with you Carolien, these large numbers are hard to imagine but when when we take a moment and really think about what 350 million people look like and how bad that is that it starts to make sense.

  10. We accept numbers as truth! One is, one, single, stand alone. Zero is another number that has an absoluteness to it! If fact no matter how smart and powerful a computer is, they all work with only 1s and 0s. So, if we look at statistics are they just showing the logic of true and false? The recent tower block fire in London is a case in point. They tested the cladding of over 100 buildings with 700 more to be tested, for proof they were also flammable when someone said how much proof was needed, just remove them! Smoking causes cancer! The list goes on. Life is made complicated by us when it has always been just true or not true, to basic numbers.

  11. It’s true that we need statistics to take stock and reflect what is happening on a wider scale. However, I know from personal experience its easy to brush off statistics and not take full account of what they are sharing. When stopping to consider what they share, it is staggering!

    1. That’s true Elizabeth. They can open our eyes fully to the state of the world or be just be another reason to throw our hands in the air in absolute despair. Which one is totally our choice.

  12. The biggest thing that happens to us has always been the thing that will never happen to us, because generally as a society we live in the denial that what we are doing affects our body, so it will never happen to us.

  13. When I first saw the title of this article… I immediately thought that this must be by my friend Christoph… And then I realized that this was writing about the statistics that just, like Flash streams in the world’s consciousness… All the health statistics that if fully cognized would certainly send shivers up the collective consciousness of all governments.

  14. We can treat statistics with disdain and gloss over the numbers presented, but what is really on offer is an invitation to wake up from our apathy and consider the reality of the world we live in, the many wayward choices we have made that have brought us to this point and the opportunities we have to turn the tide.

  15. I have often found that statistics can be a bit ‘standalone’ if seen out of context and simply just rolled out year after year with out a human side, but when we start to relate them back to what is truly going on and what statistics reveal, we start to open up a deeper and perhaps more open, meaningful conversation that may hold the True answers for humanity.

  16. I agree that when we ignore statistics it’s because we don’t want to see what’s going on in the world – that we have created. I also feel this can be the mindset or energy behind some statistics in that those who research and write them may be doing so from a reaction to what they have uncovered so they can come with a force which we in turn may react to. I’m not excusing the general ‘head in the sand’ attitude that pervades humanity though. We all have a responsibility similarly to pull out our heads and let ourselves truly feel the mess we have created so we can change it.

  17. True statistics offer us an unbiased snapshot of the quality of life we, en mass, are actually living. If we are willing to learn and grow we will understand that this is a valuable tool available too for us to see, without question, how the quality of our choices are in fact affecting us all. Furthermore, when we understand that we are a one humanity, all connected to by the essence of our being, we will then connect deeper to the truth that is presented from statistics, read what is needed, knowing that it directly relates to us all.

  18. Great blog. I would ask how on earth can we deeply connect to something like statistics when we first cannot deeply connect to ourselves? ‘We read statistics but we are not deeply connecting to what they are presenting.’ There is more to be discussed here.

  19. If statistics are used correctly they are like the writing on the wall so to speak because numbers tell a story.

  20. It is important that we let statistics like these shake us awake from our stupor and realise that our current approach to life, health and responsibility needs a major review. This is not something that we wait for policy makers to govern us on, this is something we need to take responsibility for… changing the stats through responsible care and choice.

  21. Thank you – that was one of the best depth-full pieces of writing on medicine… This is indeed the responsibility that we come with and need to live from. No blame – simply the way you life is your part, and this contributes in a healthy way or unhealthy way to the current state of the world. We can not divide ourselves or be a part – as we are not…We are simply all we are made to be and that is not separative – but One whom is always connected to everyone all of the time.

  22. When we take the approach that life is happening to us and that illness and diseases are part of this game of chance, statistics just become part of this. Like you share though 95% of the cancers are actually lifestyle related and it makes simple sense that this would be so for many other diseases. Then statistics become a marker of where we are at as humanity and what choices we are making that it is this way. Then also they start to have a purpose to change our way of living so we are not contributing to the ill health statistics and inspiring others to do the same.

  23. These are staggering statistics, unless we are directly affected by the actual disease or know someone close to us that is we tend to only see it as a number, it is time we started to realise that these statistics are growing year on year and maybe our lifestyle has more to do with it than we care to think possible.

  24. Very powerfull – meaning we are double asked to reflect on our life, our health, our choices; our behaviors, food choices, relationship, movements, way of communication and so forth..
    Let us all be aware of what it is in us and our way of living that causes illness and disease in the first place, and let us surrender forth by changing it around and listen to our body – for real, and that is not our mind.. And then we need to ask ourselve: how do we connect to it and what supports us to gain that connection truly. Answer lays within, our answer lays within..

  25. This line is just too good! I want to post it on my Facebook!

    “Given the increasing evidence that lifestyle is a major determinant of health and that only 5% percent of all cancers are genetic, statistics invite us to deeply look at the way we are living on a daily basis in all areas of our lives and to see whether we are making choices that are truly healthy or not.”

    If we live in a way that is inspiring, then our life becomes an offering to all others, nothing needs to be preached or told, just living responsibility that shines out to the world.

  26. Throwing out the ball – exactly what is there for us to feel – we know , we know and so should we act, as we have the great power to change that which is no longer true and or denied.

  27. Some statistics are so massive they are literally impossible to fathom in terms of people and the impact this would have not only financially but on all those who know them. We have almost become desensitized to how bad it has become as the extent of the issues continue to rise to gargantuan proportions of the population. As such, to address that personally seems impossible but to address it within ourselves is a choice to live responsibly in our movements and therefore lessen the chance of contributing to the statistics ourselves… or… to continue to live in comfort with our head in the sand and potentially become one, and only then feel the impact of our irresponsibility.

  28. Although we can all feel what is happening all of the time and have numbed or turned a blind eye to this in order to need statistics, these become very real when you get out into communities and society and take a look at what is happening around us.

  29. Such great points I don’t consider myself part of statistics and often do the opposite pride myself that I’m not one of those affected … but I do not take it further; so in fact I’m choosing to be wilfully blind and the question I have to ask is why? Why would I not care … in fact I do care a lot but it hurts to see the rot around me and I often want to keep the things I do, comfort in other words. So statistics can support here in my wake up call of the World I and all of us live in.

  30. Statistics reveal the ‘uncomfortable’ truth we do not want to address while we remain so enamoured with our wayward ways and all the irresponsibility this way of living affords to the one who lives it. Thus, statistics show us the root cause of this waywardness because they reveal the extent to which we have let such corruption run rife in our world and show us in no uncertain terms that we are not actually ‘getting away with it’ at all.

  31. Yes, Amina we do need statistics, but I am wondering if our propensity to ignore them comes from a constant manipulation of them to create argument and counter argument in places such as politics and we become wary and weary of them? It’s also possible that we ignore them because it would mean stepping up, seeing more, developing greater awareness and making different life choices which we stubbornly refuse to do.

  32. There is a Spanish saying that says something like this: ‘There is no greater deaf than that who doesn’t want to listen’. I feel this is somehow what happens with some people, who don’t consider that there is a message in statistics which may be speaking about them too.

  33. When it comes to statistics people often just see it as numbers, however, when they are personally involved or it affects others personally then we start to take note and feel the impact. Because the figures are so large it can be overwhelming to contemplate the magnitude of what is going on.

  34. Research and the no.s are reflected as a guide for Doctors to see across the board actually what is taking place in society with illness and disease but it seems they are not taken seriously as society will look at them and think, oh that’s bad but never think, I could be one of those statistics one day if I don’t stop drinking or smoking or whatever.

  35. It is really quite fascinating that we don’t want to admit what the statistics are showing us and keep going the way we have because it is going to be too much if we have to look at the way we are choosing to live our lives. For me I could just feel and know that my lifestyle choices were not loving and that they couldn’t go on for ever. Not until I met Serge Benhayon and attended one of the Universal Medicine courses did I actually get to feel what I was holding in my body, that I got to feel my root cause, the deeply buried hurt and sadness from walking away from my true essence.

  36. I agree that statistics serve a great and very useful purpose, the problem is that statistics can be and are manipulated so easily by people and organisations who want to prove their point. So yes a great thing but we need to discern whether they are true and accurate.

  37. Statistics often grab us and make us take a moment to take on the levels of beliefs but how many are collected and shared with the truth that does not have us momentarily stopping to pause but offers us a marker that we know we no longer can drop under.

  38. The statistics are shocking but you’re so right when you say we don’t really read them or pay attention to them and feel what they actually represent. One common reason why is that we can feel so despairing of what they show us that we feel helpless and then just give up. But the key to changing these stats is to focus on us, focus on the quality of the choices we make, how we look after ourselves on a very basic level – eat, sleep, exercise, and how we move. By focusing on these things we will change the world.

  39. If we were to take all statistics on health and publish them all in one go would we then be able to admit the dire state we as a humanity are in? Or would the numbers be so overwhelming that we would avert our eyes to look at anything but what they truly mean.

  40. Statistics do not lie and so we have found ways to communicate them in a way that it is easy to glance over them, put them on back pages or isolate them from each other simply because the sheer magnitude of what they mean is too overwhelming for us. What we need to be able to address then is not only be willing to honestly look at them but to understand that we actually hold the power within ourselves to change them for the better.

  41. The statistics are shocking… we need something to measure, monitor and track the enormous number of people with illness and disease so that we have a reference point to take stock with.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s