Effective prevention of the current annual $400 billion losses from atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) will require preventing primary causes rather than just decreasing signs and symptoms (risk factors) produced by those causes.

All CVD risk factors predict a likelihood of CVD, but not all are causes of CVD. As a result, reducing some health risk assessment biomarkers may not appreciably reduce CVD and death.

Careful review of molecular events connecting diets to death identifies two modifiable food imbalances that cause major chronic diseases in Americans. They are 1) imbalance between ingestion and expenditure of food energy, and 2) imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acid levels in ingested foods.

Health insurers could reduce costs and revolutionize preventive health care by monitoring omega-3 and omega-6 proportions in blood fatty acids and by using personalized interactive food choice software to adjust food intakes to fit individual preferences.