Dan Ariely: A healthy lifestyle as a lifesaving medicine?

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Combining tech and behavior to stimulate people to make healthy choices

– Without realizing, tech giants influence our behavior. Elections are influenced trough micro targeting, the tobacco industry created social norms around smoking as a cool thing to do, and supermarkets influence what we buy. We know that this is happening, and that it creates an environment that benefits short-term satisfaction instead of whatever gives us the most long-term benefits. Why not use this knowledge for our health? At the lecture we will bring together key stakeholders behavioral economist Dan Ariely, obesity specialist Jaap Seidell, alderman health & wealth for the City of Amsterdam Eric van den Burg, to find out how technological innovations can help us lead healthier lives.

Lifestyle related disease is the biggest killer worldwide. Globally it is the poor who are affected most. Stimulating healthy lifestyles is the best preventive medicine. Applying tech and behavioral science offers a great opportunity to actually achieve this.
Globally, the awareness to focus on healthy living and prevention instead of just cure alone is increasing. The Dutch government is preparing a “Prevention Deal” and private partners like the food industry are realizing they also have a responsibility. The case is clear: lifestyle changes can prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. It saves lives and cuts healthcare costs. Yet, despite this focus, we are still looking for an effective strategy.


Dan Ariely, who has worked for big companies like Facebook and Google to get a better understanding in the behavior of their customers, will discuss with you how to use the same technology, data and behavioral insights to help us exercise more and eat more healthily. Will we in future all have our digital lifestyle coach on our phone that helps us make healthy living more fun?

Jaap Seidell, the country’s foremost obesity specialist based at the VU University, Amsterdam. After 35 years of research into weight gain and its more severe manifestation, obesity, the nutrition expert and epidemiologist is convinced that conditions can be created that allow people to grow up healthily and helps them get ahead in life. He will illustrate this by showing a case study of the Amsterdam approach to healthy weight (AAGG).

Arnoud Verhoeff, manager at GGD, will elaborate on the political aspect of stimulating people to live a healthier life. As part of the GGD, he was involved with the Amsterdam approach to healthy weight (AAGG) that actively tried to decrease child obesity in Amsterdam, also providing him with insights about the impact of the initiative.

Johan de Visser, manager of Sustainable Retailing at Albert Heijn, is responsible for making sure healthy choices are available at Albert Heijn, for all customers. Having served various positions at the firm, he has years of experience in the food industry. He will take part in the discussion about what can be done now as a first step to help customers make healthier choices, applied to Albert Heijn as a case.

Marit Metz is the deputy director and marketing lead at Question Mark. Question Mark is a company that collects and uses data to determine how healthy and sustainable supermarket products are. Their mission is to make people more aware and the food industry more transparent. She will offer her knowledge and experience through discussion, using Question Mark as a case that shows efforts to help people make better choices.

At the Joep Lange Institute we believe the next decade globally will be about personalized marketing for the good. The mobile revolution creates enormous amounts of data that can be used to understand and influence human behavior. This is the time to join forces and use this opportunity to create effective interventions that actually lead to a change in behavior.

Language: English

Livestream 2018-06-07

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Zonder dat we het merken, beïnvloeden de techgiganten van deze wereld aan de lopende band ons gedrag. De verkiezingen worden beïnvloed door microtargeting, de tabaksindustrie heeft met succes de norm gecreëerd dat roken gezien wordt als stoer en supermarkten beïnvloeden met hun marketingstrategieën wat we kopen. Ergens zijn we ons hier wel van bewust. Dat dit vooral prikkels geeft om op korte termijn te handelen en het vaak niet in lijn is met onze eigen doelstellingen. Waarom passen we deze kennis niet toe op het gebied van gezondheid?

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