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Change behavior with information - more from Connected Health (5 of 5)

Adam Bosworth is a long-time tech veteran who co-founded Google and Google Health) and CEO of a to-be-launched company 'to help people engage in their own health' Keas.  He noted that since lifestyles are dramatically worse than they were in 1986 (only one state has no significant problem with obesity), by 2030, there will be 76 million people on Medicare.  His theory -- obesity is killing us and responsible for a $500 billion chunk of the nation's $2.3 trillion in healthcare costs. He described his own experience: "One reason people have not been successful at staying healthy, Bosworth said, could be illustrated by his own experience with banana bread. He was in the habit of walking to and from work everyday and picking up a piece of banana bread at the coffee shop along the way. The banana bread, it turned out, erased most of the walk's benefits by adding 500 calories. People do this type of thing without thinking, he said. Awareness is critical."

if you could just get people to change their lifestyle by informing them (for example, the 500 calories in Starbucks’ Banana Bread or advertise negative effects (like smoking or drunk driving or that decreasing television viewing improves BMI in children), or pay for improved health (as Linda Dillman at Wal-Mart is driving), you could reduce the growth rate in healthcare costs as a percentage of the GDP. 

Keas will launch early next year and we can then learn more about how he intends to solve this problem.

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