Research!America's signature Research Takes Cents compare selected American spending to the costs associated with conducting research. Low levels of research funding are not a result of the money not being available; it's just spent elsewhere.
How to Use Research Takes Cents
What if your weekend spending instead supported research? What if every American’s weekend spending supported research? Research Takes Cents are easy to drop into a conversation, and they are particularly effective when used in presentations with images.
This PDF has several of the factoids listed below; download it and use it for your outreach!
Research Takes Cents Examples:
In 2011, commercial casinos brought in $36.4 billion of gross gaming revenue. That's enough to fund research for American Indian and Alaskan Native Specific Health Concerns through the National Institutes of Health for more than 267 years.
The $967 million that was spent on consumer and professional fireworks in 2011 could fund all of NIH's childhood injury study programs for slightly more than 18 years.
Americans spent $21.7 billion on bottled water in 2011, which outpaces our national lead toxicology research programs $2,170 to $1.
High School Football
Nearly $60 million was spent on a new high school football stadium in a suburb of Dallas. This is equal to 20 times the federal grants for research of traumatic brain injury for the state of Texas in 2011.
Americans spent $2.83 billion on streaming video content from Internet sources in 2011. That's four times the budget of the National Eye Institute.
Approximately $5 billion is spent on indoor tanning. That's more than 55 times the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's patient safety research in 2011.
There is an expected $27.8 billion in revenue from retail coffee sales in 2012, or enough to fund the National Institute of Drug Abuse for 26 years.
Gifts for Grads
It is expected that $4.7 billion were spent on graduation gifts in 2012, which is more than enough to fund NIH's research on smoking for more than 13 years.
Annual retail sales of greeting cards exceed $7.5 billion, with "get well" and "sympathy" cards being the third most popular everyday cards purchased. This is more than 41 times the annual budget of the National Institute of Health's Office of Rare Diseases Research.
The movie industry grossed approximately $10.1 billion in 2011, which would have been enough to support an additional 41,160 research projects through the National Institutes of Health.
Weight Loss Methods
The U.S. weight loss market was valued at $61 billion in 2011 — almost 812 times the Food and Drug Administration's budget for food safety.
Americans are expected to spend $20 billion on smart phone accessories in 2012, or 270 times national investment in infertility research through the National Institutes of Health.
An estimated $32.1 billion was spent on retail flowers and related goods in 2011, which could fund the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly seven years.
An estimated $8 billion was spent on Halloween in 2012, which is nearly 100 times the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's funding for diabetes prevention and health promotion.
In 2011, $17.02 billion was spent on video games, or 12 times the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Preparedness and Response program budget.
Gnomes and Other Garden Accessories
More than $7 billion was spent on garden accessories such as garden gnomes and ornamental decorations. This is nearly 50 times the National Science Foundation's budget for environmental biology from 2011.
It is estimated that approximately $12 billion is spent annually on unused gym memberships. This amount could fund the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention and Promotion program for more than 350 years.
In 2012, Americans were expected to spend $586.1 billion on Christmas and other winter holidays. That amount would fund NIH, CDC, FDA, NSF and AHRQ combined for more than 12 years.
Source: National Retail Federation
College Sports Merchandise
Americans spent approximately $4.6 billion on collegiate sports merchandise in 2011. That amount would fund 106,370 fellowships at the NIH.
Americans spend more than $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth-whitening products each year. That's enough to fund the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for nearly three and a half years!
Americans are expected to spend $9.8 billion on gifts this Father's Day. That could fund NIH research on colorectal cancer and prostate cancer for more than 14 years!
Sources: National Retail Foundation, 2010; National Institutes of Health "Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories," 2009.
Estimated amount Americans spent on Valentine's Day in 2009: $14.7 billion. That could fund the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for more than four years!
Sources: National Retail Federation, 2009; NHLBI FY09
Football fans were expected to spend $11 billion on Super Bowl parties in 2012. That would practically double NIH's funding for all neuroscience spending in 2011.
Americans spent more than $8.8 billion on Super Bowl game-related merchandise, apparel and snacks in 2010. That could fund more than 47 years of NIH research into head and spine trauma injuries at FY 2010 funding levels (estimated $184 million).
Sources: Retail Advertising and Marketing Association; NIH Disease Funding Table
Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $87.2 billion each year. That's enough to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 13 years!
Sources: Texas Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report; CDC FY 2010
In 2009, the American wedding industry totaled $42 billion. That could fund the National Institutes of Health for more than 16 months!
Sources: Wedding Report/Wall Street Journal; NIH FY 2010
U.S. amusement parks and attractions generate $12 billion in revenues each year. That sum would fund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for more than 30 years!
Sources: International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions; AHRQ FY 2010
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