Last week I had the privilege to attend and speak at the Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference, the focus was on”What’s Next for Health Promotion? and What New Approaches Will Produce the Best Outcomes? David Katz presented the opening Keynote and you can access much of what he covered here. Dr. Katz is doing amazing work related to food and activity. While I love and am impressed with David’s work, I wish he would start from an idealized idea of where we can go rather than the problems we must overcome. He even ended by saying, heck I have been doing this for 25 years and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. To me that is because we must focus on growth and gain and get away from simply attempting to eliminate deficits like I explained in a full lecture here and in a brief explanation here.
Dan Buettner, the National Geographic Fellow and author of Blue Zones and Thrive shared what he has learned that helps people live longer and better. To me a lot of what David and Dan shared was to be sure we eat real, not processed, chemical laden food as often as possible. On the final day, Barbara Fredrickson shared her work related to positive emotions and helped us understand how valuable and important it is to experience positive emotions and how it can help make our lives better.
My presentation as a breakout was, “Application of Prospect Theory for Health Promotion Programming“. In brief, I shared prospect theory by explaining we want to use the best tools available. Prospect Theory was developed by Noble Prize Winning Laureate Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky. Prospect Theory is unique and valuable in predicting, describing and explaining behavior because it bases information on the value of changes desired. In other words, by making the change more valuable it increases the likelihood of change. Specific techniques I shared include how we affect memory, priming, and framing of situations to highlight the value of change. Prospect Theory has been used effectively to understand behaviors related stock market work and wealth management and I explained how we could effectively use it to improve health promotion efforts. If you are interested, you can access a PDF of the presentation here.
Please contact me if you have any thoughts, questions or requests. I look forward to hearing from you.
Craig Becker, PhD