Obesity will soon become the leading cause of cancer in women, thinking of others may promote healthy behaviors, and more.

1. Humana and Fitbit extend partnership to support member health

Humana expands its five-year partnership with Fitbit to offer members a platform to promote healthy behaviors to prevent and manage chronic diseases, Healthcare Informatics reports. The Fitbit Care platform, found on the Fitbit Plus app, combines health coaching with virtual care and will now be the main health coaching solution for Humana’s employer group serving more than five million members. “Coaches work with participants to create personalized care plans and connect with members through multiple channels that include in-app communications, phone and in-person meetings, giving people the flexibility to choose what works best with their lifestyle.” This move signals Humana’s continued efforts to control rising costs for employers related to employee health, adding on to Go365 and Humana Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

2. Obesity emerging as leading cancer contributor

Obesity is predicted to surpass smoking as the leading preventable cause of cancer in women, a Cancer Research UK report reveals. Analyzing cancer incidence data between 1979 and 2014, CNN explains that the report “estimated that 23,000 British women will suffer from obesity-related cancers by 2035 – just 2,000 fewer than the number of cases caused by smoking” and that “by 2043 obesity will become the most common cause of cancer in women if current trends continue.” The report also predicts the same case for men will occur, but will happen later on due to the higher rates of British men who smoke. Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, suggests that the same political actions that have helped reduce smoking rates could help address the obesity epidemic.

3. President Trump announces new National Cyber Strategy

A National Cyber Strategy was recently announced by President Donald Trump to combat cybersecurity attacks across the United States. This is the first “fully articulated cyber strategy” released since 2003 and “argues that a strong cybersecurity posture will preserve peace in the U.S. by strengthening the country’s ability to deter international actors from malicious cyberattacks.” The strategy includes four guiding principles with examples on how to achieve success, outlined by Becker’s Hospital Review.

4. Focus on loved ones improves activity levels in obese patients

A new study suggests that thinking of others may make healthy choices easier, according to a study explained by WebMD. Researchers placed 220 obese adults in one of three groups. One group was “asked to think about values bigger than themselves, such as their loved ones or their connection with God or another higher power” while in an MRI machine and another group was “asked to make positive wishes for people they knew and for strangers.” The third control group “was instructed to think about their least important values.” Afterward, participants’ activity was monitored through fitness trackers for the next month as they “received daily text messages that repeated the experiment in miniature, reminding them of the self-transcendence thoughts, or the neutral control thoughts from the study.” Participants in the self-transcendence groups were significantly more active during that month and displayed more brain activity in areas involving reward and positive feelings, compared to those in the neutral control thoughts group.

5. Patients anticipate severe flu season, seek flu shots earlier

According to a recent Walgreens survey of 1,200 American adults, 73 percent plan to get a flu shot earlier this year. Additional takeaways reveal that 40 percent of respondents believe this year’s flu season will be as severe as last year’s, almost 80 percent of respondents reported having the flu or knowing a family member who did within the last three years, and 37 percent reveal they went to work while sick with the flu.

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