FEBRUARY 11, 2015
On February 11, 2015, the Global Wellness Institute, in partnership with Scientific American Worldview, convened a Roundtable discussion entitled: “The Science of Wellness: Hype or Hope?”
Around this illustrious table were business leaders, scientists, journalists, doctors, technologists, researchers, hotel and spa owners and more. It was a fascinating conversation and the resounding conclusion was that the Science of Wellness is definitely more HOPE than hype! But it depends on the rest of the world—not just those at the table—to embrace it, fund research studies, make personal choices to impact change, incite governments to change policies, etc. So the operative word is “change” and most people at the Roundtable felt it was important to come together, as thought leaders in the wellness arena, and lead that change.
There were references made to other societal issues and how they were solved. And it was generally agreed that powerful messaging and impactful advertising and marketing campaigns won the day. That requires a simplification of the information so it can be understood and digested by a wide swath of the population.
Clare Martorana, EVP and GM of Everyday Health, concluded that we need to “Simplify and Inspire.”
The United States rid itself of the littering problem by showing a crying Native American, standing roadside, as a car drives by and a soda can is tossed out the window.
Smoking, a deadly health hazard that some of the Roundtable participants likened to the current obesity epidemic, was also ultimately forbidden from advertising and marketing campaigns. Soda bans, salt restrictions—these have made the news in recent years. But getting people to truly embrace wellness, and to acknowledge the scientific evidence to prove it, is going to take a while.
It was suggested that the same Roundtable group reconvene in six months to measure progress. Six months is an ambitious goal for any progress of this magnitude. But you have to start somewhere. In the wise words of an African Proverb: