Talk health to me, baby!

Posted on October 6, 2010 at 8:00 am

Here’s something we’ve noticed. Sadly, folks aren’t sitting around waiting for the health care industry to lecture them into better behavior… in fact, most people are busy having lives that are filled with their own stresses and opportunities.

The goal of Seduce Health is to harness the incredible creativity and passion in all of us working so hard to effect change, and use that creativity and passion to bring joy and inspiration back into the conversation we are having with the public about their health and wellbeing.

What does that mean exactly? It means we want to get a public conversation started about how we can reframe how we ask folks to change their behavior, to live healthier and therefore happier lives. To move from fear and lecturing to passion and dreams, hope and beauty. The story of how this idea came about is a great example.

On a trip to New York, Roni (that’s Roni Zeiger, MD – Google’s Chief Health Strategist) was taken aback by the diabetes messaging splashed across the city’s billboards. The message was in stark contrast to the transfixed-to-your-seat-then-jumping-up-with-energy-and-passion performance delivered by spoken word artist Sekou Andrews at a past Health 2.0 conference. Sekou had introduced Eliza Corp’s concept of getting Soul to Soul with our healthcare communications.

“Now that’s how we should talking about health,” thought Roni. So Roni called Alex (Alexandra Drane, Eliza’s Founder and President) and the rest, well…you can see it for yourself here.

All very intriguing, you might be thinking, but what do I do now? First – become part of the community. Share examples of health communications you’ve seen that are extraordinary, as well as the ones that leave you curled up in a corner quietly weeping – use the idea form on the left or tweet @seducehealth. We’ll highlight the ones that inspire, and rework the ones that do not. Share this blog with people you know – invite them to join the conversation as well.

Ahhh, yes, and one more thing… You’ll notice a film strip near the top of the Seduce Health home page – those are friends of the concept behind Seduce Health. They’re having fun reminding us what it’s all about. Click on one and see…

Job number one for all of us is to reframe our approach to health messaging, to remind ourselves on a daily basis that what we are going for is share of mind. It’s a lot easier to get someone to sit down on the couch and eat a bacon double cheeseburger than it is to inspire them to get up and move, and choose carrots over chips. Here’s the other unfortunate fact – the fast food, tobacco, and beverage industry are doing a better job seducing folks toward their goals, and foiling ours in the process. They are famous for using inspired and gleeful content that glorifies unhealthy behavior. Let’s learn from this: let’s look at every communication we send out to the very people whose lives we hope to impact as an opportunity to rise above the noise, to seduce them into carnally wanting to live healthier lives, to talk health to them in a way that screams, ‘This is fun and cool and I am IN!’ Take the pledge to rethink your approach to effecting behavior change: get yourself on video saying, ‘Talk Health to Me, Baby’, and send us a note using the idea form on the left. Join this party. It would be our honor to include you in the Seduce Health community.

Lastly, a special shout out to Nathan Walker and Brian McDaniel for their help designing and building the site.

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  • Gale Wilson-Steele October 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    You’re so right about how the healthy messengers are fighting an industry of seasoned marketers whose goal is to increase consumption. Kids, who are shown a TV ad every 5 minutes during Saturday morning programming, are being taught to request sugary cereals, sodas, candy and snacks. Their friend, (fat) Shrek, is promoting Twinkies and McDonalds. The practice of labeling foods with toys, characters and celebrities aimed at children and teens grew 78 percent from 2006 to 2008… this is seduction.

    So how is this growing generation going to know that spinach and Niblets corn grow strong muscles when Popeye and the Jolly Green Giant are no longer their inspiration? Talking health means talking tough… it’s NOT OK to be fat. Exercise is not an option. Your body is your temple and keeping it fit is your privilege and your duty.

    • seducehealth October 13, 2010 at 9:19 pm

      Amen, sister! As a parent, I think everyday about how I can better role model to my children how to respect our bodies with great food and exercise, and realize that these things make us Feel Good.

  • Brian Ahier October 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Good health and wellness is seductive… I love this idea!

  • seducehealth October 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Thanks, Brian. Bring on your ideas and suggestions.

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