Tracking the Healthcare Trends for 2011

By Marcie Klein

About those Five Health Trends for this year, 2011 is half over so where do we stand?  Here’s my POV:

  • Healthcare reform is indeed facing challenges, as the Attorney Generals in at least 20 states including; Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Minnesota and Colorado for starters, are fighting to repeal “Obamacare,” perhaps because it’s still in flux, companies are not racing to implement proactive wellness measures. But, whatever direction health care reform takes, smart companies will continue to offer rewards for employees who stop smoking and lose weight.  They’ll figure out how to make proactive health and prevention work for their bottom lines.
  • Wellness is indeed taking over the land.  Check out what one small-ish US city (in my hometown of Louisville, KY) is doing with weight loss in this New York Times article. Companies and brands will increasingly jump on this bandwagon as it impacts their own corporate health.  Businesses are learning they can create local goodwill by partnering with neighborhood governments on community health and wellness programs.
  • It’s official! The new nutritional bogeyman is…energy drinks.  The recent article in Pediatrics announcing the AAP position on sports and energy drinks for children didn’t mince words in its lambasting of these beverages for kids.  Parents are being told to stick to good old water unless their little ones are running marathons. It’s not location, location, location….it’s science, science, science!
  • Finally, as far as new innovations in Pharma and food…still waiting for this to pan out.  The first half of the year was slow for innovation, likely the residual effect of the recession. I’m holding out for the next big thing…no matter whose idea it is!

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