Thursday, September 10, 2009

Placebo Effect - What about the Health Effect?

An interesting story recently published in Wired Magazine highlights the bizarre finding that the placebo effect is becoming noticeably stronger.

In a provocative story recently published in Wired Magazine the authors make note of the increasingly powerful effect of placebo in the various pharmaceutical studies. This enhanced effect of the placebo arm of the clinical trials is thought to be the collective effect of the aggregated pharmaceutical marketing efforts of the last several decades. When mixed with American's strongly held beliefs about the power of technology, these two influences have synergistically influenced the power of the placebo effect.

This is not only interesting but makes me immediately think what might happen when instead of the placebo effect, we start talking about the "health" effect. What happens when we change our overall definition of what "health" is, or how we collectively think about our health? What would happen if we made a multi-billion dollar, multi-decade investment in promoting the culture of health - what would the societal benefits we would reap. What happens when we actually start making healthy choices, start practicing healthy behaviors, and start having health and fitness become a fundamental component of our culture.

I believe the physical and mental "uplift" from this type of cultural investment would create a powerful double whammy of positive endorphins. Looking forward to see if we can fast forward this effect in smaller communities of 10,000. Hopefully the X PRIZE is coming toward a community near you!
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