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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:

Casinos

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.

Sources: American Gaming Association; National Institutes of Health

Fireworks

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.

Sources: American Pyrotechnics Association; National Institutes of Health

Bottled Water

Americans spent $21.7 billion on bottled water in 2011, which outpaces our national lead toxicology research programs $2,170 to $1.

Sources: National Geographic; National Institutes of Health

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.

Sources: Huffington Post; National Institutes of Health

Online Video

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.

Sources: Huffington Post; National Institutes of Health

Indoor Tanning

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.

Sources: IBISWorld; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Coffee

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.

Sources: IBISWorld; National Institutes of Health

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.

Sources: Epoch Times; National Institutes of Health

Greeting Cards

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.

Sources: Greeting Card Association; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Movies

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.

Sources: BoxOfficeMojo.com; 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.

Sources: MarketData Enterprises; Food and Drug Administration

Smartphone Accessories

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.

Sources: ABI Research; National Institutes of Health

Flowers

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.

Sources: Society of American Florists; National Institutes of Health

Halloween

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.

Sources: National Retail Federation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Video Games

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.

Sources: BGR Media; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.

Sources: Profile America; National Science Foundation

Gym Memberships

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.

Sources: Quora; Growing a Green Family; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Winter Holidays

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.

Source: Collegiate Licensing Company; National Institutes of Health

Teeth Whitening

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!

Sources: MSNBC "Blindingly white: teeth bleaching gone too far;" NIH FY 2010

Father's Day

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.

Valentine's Day

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

Super Bowl

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.

Sources: CNBC; National Institutes of Health

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 Jams

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

Weddings

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

Amusement Parks

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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