“Any given attempt to establish a new healthy behavior is, on average, not going to be successful,” according to David Kirchhoff, CEO of Snap Kitchen and former CEO of Weight Watchers. Why is it so hard to get new health behaviors to stick?
Most behavior change efforts fail because “people don’t care as much about their health issues as you do,” says Kirchhoff. Job security, providing for family, caring for kids — these types of concerns are what keep people up at night, not their future health. It is not realistic to expect someone who works two jobs and is a single parent of three kids to prioritize new eating habits, for example. “You can’t really get people to address these types of health behaviors if you don’t understand the circumstances of their life.”
From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016.