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Unnatural Causes Wins Top Science Award

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick
?, the groundbreaking documentary series exploring the root causes of America’s alarming class and racial inequities in health, won the 2009 TV/Radio/Film Award, given out by the National Academies for best science program. The prestigious prize is the latest of many won by the four-hour series produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures.

Unnatural Causes demonstrates how health is shaped by far more than health care, bad habits, or unlucky genes. Instead, it circles in on a slow killer in plain view: the class and racial inequities in the rest of our lives – in the jobs we do, the wealth we enjoy, the neighborhoods we live in, the schools we attend – can get under our skin as surely as germs and viruses. They kill more Americans in a day than do global pandemics in a year. Socio-economic status, race and zip code are even stronger predictors of health and life expectancy than smoking.

Unnatural Causes has won the duPont-Columbia Award, the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Excellence in Journalism Award, the Council on Foundations Henry Hampton Award and other honors. Unnatural Causes is being re-broadcast in October by many PBS stations (check local listings). DVDs are available from California Newsreel.

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