Carrot Health Insights | Four Healthy Behaviors

Published on October 19, 2017

What are the long-term financial and health consequences of the lifestyles we lead? Two recent studies that analyze the behavioral determinants of health can help answer this question. Harvard University researchers focused on cancer in this article, and researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi looked at the behavioral determinants of chronic illness in this Mayo Clinic Proceedings article.

The Mayo article evaluated four specific behaviors. The good news: a person cuts his or her risk of cancer by 60%, and risk of most chronic illnesses by 80%, if he or she consistently does these four things:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Get around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week
  • Have a normal body fat percentage
  • Have a healthy diet

Unfortunately, as the figure below illustrates, the percentage of the US population that exhibits all four behaviors is a miniscule 2.7%. In contrast, 11% of the population demonstrates zero of these behaviors, and 82% is living an unhealthy lifestyle (note: the percentages do not total exactly 100% due to rounding).

What can health providers and health plans do about this? The starting point is to develop a much more thorough understanding of the populations you are serving. Using consumer data and predictive modeling, Carrot MarketView can forecast the likelihood that a specific individual will develop a chronic illness or cancer. MarketView can also predict the likelihood that someone will avert that illness by adopting new behaviors or utilizing resources available to them. Knowing the differing risk factors and motivations for each individual in their covered populations, payers and providers can develop more appropriate, personalized, and targeted interventions.

In the next few issues of Carrot Health Insights, we’ll examine the consumer data science behind each of these four healthy behaviors — please stay tuned!

To learn more about how Carrot MarketView can deliver Healthcare Business Intelligence to your team, please contact us to schedule a demo.

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