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.

 

References:

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

 

513 thoughts on “Why we need statistics

  1. ‘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.’ And this is what we do not find easy, we rather spend billions on finding solutions that will allow us to keep living the way we do, to remain in irresponsibility. It exposes what we truly want from life.

  2. The world puts so much store in working out percentages, evidence-based procedures, and yet when confronted with the extraordinary statistics of what is happening to the world’s population there seems to be an enormous blindspot.

  3. I really wonder where we get that confidence/arrogance from to think that we ourselves will not be the number when looking at the statistics. Probably this very attitude of ignorance is worth looking at as something that reveals where we are at as a race of being.

  4. Far worse than not wanting to read the statistics is the inevitable outcome of such ignorance which is becoming the statistic ourselves. So it is until such a time that we wake ourselves from the deep slumber we have fallen into and see things as they truly are and not as we might wish them to be.

  5. The truth is all around us… If we simply choose to see. But for many they choose not to see what is truly happening… And sometimes statistics will actually wake people up.

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