NewsletterPublic Health

The natural sponsor for the real food movement

There are few companies with which the real food movement can partner. Meat and dairy organisations are obvious bed fellows, but then we could be accused of conflicts of interest: “you’re only saying that meat is OK because you’ve received payments from the meat industry.” We accuse dietitians of the same with their junk and cereal conflicts.

One industry with which there is a perfect fit is the insurance and re-insurance industry. The perfect health insurance customer is one who lives a long and healthy life: they pay premiums for as long as possible and make as few claims as possible. Ditto for life assurance – companies want people to pay as many premiums as possible before they die.

The insurance industry is likely even more motivated than, say, the Public Health Collaboration, to encourage healthy lifestyles, as insurers have a commercial incentive to effect change. I’ve sat next to strangers at dinner who, when they discover what I do, say “you’ll be watching what I eat then?!” I reply “I don’t care what you eat – I care that you know what you should eat.” Real food proponents want to share knowledge. The insurance industry wants to do the same and effect behavioural change. Their business model could be transformed by it.


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