A new study from USC and The Rand Corporation indicates that obesity may be “contagious.” Studying families spread across U.S. counties with higher and lower rates of obesity (ranging from 21%-38%), each 1 percentage point increase in obesity in that county was associated with a 4-5% higher rate of obesity in parents and children. Neighbors seem to impact one’s weight.

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AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI

Wellness has long been associated with physically tangible offerings such as nutrition, beauty, fitness, travel destinations, and so on. But, in 2018, might it evolve toward less commodified categories like emotional well-being, compassion, gratitude, mental agility, social connection, serenity or reconnecting with nature? Because, while often not costing anything, these are increasingly the most proven paths to well-being.

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AuthorThierry Malleret, Economist and Founder, Monthly Barometer

Environmental and tourism analysts often focus on the spectacular aspects of climate change, like storms and floods. But less “event-like” effects will have an even stronger impact on the tourism industry near term: Some regions will simply become too hot – while more frequent episodes of wet weather and droughts will mean places like Cape Town are soon set to run out of water.

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AuthorThierry Malleret, Economist and Founder, Monthly Barometer
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The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) Wellness Moonshot, A World Free of Preventable Disease, is a global call to action. And while typically campaigns around prevention focus on issues like obesity and smoking, the GWI’s new research report, “Build Well to Live Well: Wellness Real Estate & Communities”, argues that we cannot address the rising crisis of chronic disease without committing to a dramatic transformation in where and how we live – because our homes, communities, and surrounding environment together determine up to 80-90% of our health outcomes.

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AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI

Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness - The New York Times, January 26, 2018

Yale’s new course on “Psychology and the Good Life” is proving extremely successful, with one in four students enrolling in it (while half of undergraduates seek mental health care from the university during their time there). According to Laurie Santos, who teaches the course, the things Yale undergraduates often connect with life satisfaction - high grades, a prestigious internship, a good-paying job - do not increase real happiness. By contrast, if students end up showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, there’ll be a radical change in culture.

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AuthorBeth McGroarty, Director of Research, GWI