How Can We Positively Impact The Obesity Crisis In 2011 ?

I am proud to work in the fitness, wellness and the health club industry. There is a real push to make health clubs part of the solution behind the obesity and sick care crisis in the U.S. and I applaud IHRSA's leadership, particulary my friend and colleague Art Curtis, as well as Phillip and Dr. Jackie Mills for their work and book Fighting Globesity. I think increased activity certainly will make a positive impact, but as these professionals know its as much to do with how people eat ? Perhaps you read my recent post on the McRib sandiwch (if you did you get the picture). Jeston Leonard once said "six pack abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym." While we can't expect the solution to involve a six pack, there is some relevance in what Jeston said as it pertains to the obesity problem.

My colleague, partner and friend, Clint S. Lee, asked me this morning if I had seen Food Matters, the documentary. I had not. We've touched on the food system before in relation to the movie Food Inc. and our mutual enjoyment of Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma, its a topic we'd spoken about before and I'd written about as well. The movie isn't just about the unbalanced food system and how we eat but also about the sick care system, which I've also shared views on.

I am watching the movie and its pretty interesting.  A clip is below. Check it out and let me, Bryan O'Rourke, know what you think. How can we positively impact the obesity crisis in 2011 ? Tell me how health clubs and fitness facilities can become a part of the solution and more importantly how we can impact how we eat which causes so much of the problem.

Global Migration - The Move to The Global Citizen

The third driver to the current revolution in business and institutions is shifting demography and not just age, but of culture. Global migration is the least understood and least governed area of globalization. The labor pool and customer base is being shifted in ways that have far reaching implications and you should take note of it. The video from the Economist above reflects migration patterns and economic implications.

Theorists sometimes call the movement of people around the world the "third wave" of globalization, after the movement of goods and the movement of money that began in the previous century. Trade and finance follow global norms and are governed by institutions: the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund. There is no equivalent group with “migration” in its name. The most personal and perilous form of movement is the most unregulated. States make and often ignore their own rules, deciding who can come, how long they stay, and what rights they enjoy.

A recent NYT report titled, "Global Mogration, A World Ever More on the Move" pointed to this and other important facts as the globalization of cultures is increasingly having an impact on our world.

"While global trade and finance are disruptive — some would argue as much as migration — they are disruptive in less visible ways. A shirt made in Mexico can cost an American worker his job. A worker from Mexico might move next door, send his children to public school and need to be spoken to in Spanish.

One reason migration seems so potent is that it arose unexpectedly. As recently as the 1970s, immigration seemed of such little importance that the United States Census Bureau decided to stop asking people where their parents were born. Now, a quarter of the residents of the United States under 18 are immigrants or immigrants’ children.

The United Nations estimates that there are 214 million migrants across the globe, an increase of about 37 percent in two decades. Their ranks grew by 41 percent in Europe and 80 percent in North America. “There’s more mobility at this moment than at any time in world history,” said Gary P. Freeman, a political scientist at the University of Texas.

The most famous source countries in Europe — Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain — are suddenly migrant destinations, with Ireland electing a Nigerian-born man as its first black mayor in 2007."

Watch the video clip below to learn more and consider - are we moving to the age of the global citizen where nationality will be less of an important factor?

Radical Change in the Fitness Business

I had a great time today with my colleague Michael Scott Scudder, who conducted an Internet radio interview of me regarding "Radical Change in the Fitness Business".

Michael is a unique individual, always staying ahead of the industry and often times accurately predicting the future to come. He has been in the fitness business for over 30 years. Thank you Michael for the discussion and thanks to the long list of professionals in the industry who took time out to listen. The future of the fitness and wellness industries is going to be radical. Listen by visiting a recording of the interview here.

Telemedicine Going Mainstream - Is Telefitness Far Behind ?

Reliable video conferencing is having great impact on a variety of industries with health care now being one. There are not enough doctors and in particular not enough specialists available when and where they might be needed. Furthermore, the cost of delivering care when patients don't have access is much more costly than the relatively less expensive alternative of telemedicine. As a result, firms like NuPhysicia have emerged to deliver physician services anytime and anywhere.

As NYT reporter Milt Freudenheim recently reported in his article, "The Doctor Will See You Now, Please Log On":

The interactive telemedicine business has been growing by almost 10 percent annually, to more than $500 million in revenue in North America this year, according to Datamonitor, the market research firm. It is part of the $3.9 billion telemedicine category that includes monitoring devices in homes and hundreds of health care applications for smartphones.

Christine Chang, a health care technology analyst at Datamonitor’s Ovum unit, says telemedicine will allow doctors to take better care of larger numbers of patients. “Some patients will be seen by teleconferencing, some will send questions by e-mail, others will be monitored” using digitized data on symptoms or indicators like glucose levels, she says.Eventually, she predicts, “one patient a day might come into a doctor’s office, in person.”

If reimbursements for lower cost options like telemedicine in "sick-care" are emerging, why not fitness and wellness which generate an even greater ROI ? The day is coming when a combination of the economic incentive for being well, and the available technologies for delivering high value wellness and fitness services to individuals via new tools like videconferencing will emerge. Watch the brief video on NuPhysicia and welcome to the revolution.


Some Call It an Evolution - I Call It the Revolution

I enjoy the media futurist, Gerd Leonhard. In a post from earlier this month, Gerd was at it again, this time promoting an upcoming movie, which you'll see some of below, and leading into his article with this title:

The Creative Landscape Is Changing, Some Call It a Revolution Others Call It a Natural Evolution. These Changes Effect Everything From Creation to Distribution From Artist to Consumer.

What Gerd is talking about is an upcoming film titled, Press Pause Play, about the future of creativity. This important work is about the huge changes in production, distribution and consumption of creative works - an important topic which reflects much of Gerd's other work (see here, here, here and here). Of course Gerd and I share similar views, with the exception that I do call it the revolution exclusively.

This is from the film's web-site: "A new generation of global creators and artists are emerging, equipped with other points of reference and other tools. The teachers arenʼt certified schools anymore - itʼs web sites, discussion forums and a “learn by doing” mentality. We see the children of a digital age, unspoiled or uneducated depending on who you ask. Collaboration over hierarchy, digital over analog - a change in the way we produce, distribute and consume creative works. PressPausePlay is the first film to capture this new ecosystem.

Thanks Gerd and watch the trailer below to learn more.