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The Importance Of Obesity

Decent Essays
How we can more effectively encourage people to choose to live a healthy life has always been a persistent question to me since I became a physician and saw many patients failed to stop unhealthy behavior even when they understand the need to do so and want to change. Models and theories taught in this class have changed my attitude just from seeing such people not having enough willpower to trying to appreciate irrationality as a universal human feature. Insights from behavioral economics (BE) can offer further models that account for human inconsistency to improve population health since its heavy emphasis on the irrationality of human behavior is relevant not only in economics but also in public health as well. In BE, people are…show more content…
(Cawley & Price, 2013; Volpp et al., 2008). Another insight from BE, loss aversion also explains this success. It refers to our tendency that people are more sensitive to lose something than they are to obtain something (Thorgeirsson & Kawachi, 2013). This phenomenon help people stick to their resolution because they risk their money by precommitment. This kind of approaches that modify choice architecture to make specific behaviors more likely are collectively called "Nudge" (Bickel, Moody, & Higgins, 2016).

Although the insights from BE have a potential to add valuable ways to view human behavior and create more efficient ways to intervention, we should beware of caveats as in using other theories. First, when the effects of the changes of choice architecture have been evaluated, they often have either small or short-lived effect, or both (Marteau, Ogilvie, Roland, Suhrcke, & Kelly, 2011). There is also an ethical concern about using the nudge to influence people especially when they make critical decisions. For instance, in one experimental study, significantly larger percentage of people are affected by default options when they decide which type of End-Of-Life care they would receive (Halpern et al., 2013). In the situation like this, a single choice would
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