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Global Wellness Summit 2018 - Day 3
08 October, 2018

Global Wellness Summit 2018 - Day 3

08 October, 2018

The Global Wellness Summit 2018 – Day 3

Day Three started with Neil Grimmer, one really fascinating dude. He is the CEO of Habit, a company that is pioneering personalized nutrition through deep science. He founded Plum Organics, America’s leading Organic Baby Food brand.

The question he started with was: Food. What’s right for me?

He started out as using food as part of his politics as a teenager, rebelling by becoming a vegan. Then he moved on to become and Iron Man and said that food became about mathematical calculations. When he eventually started Plum, for 6 years it was the fastest growing food company in the US. Following 20 years of working in the food industry at a break neck pace, his Hypothalamus stopped working. He hit the wall. He had put on 30 kilograms.

Looking at the evolution of humans, when we were hunter-gatherers, we ate what we could get. When agriculture started, we ate what we could grow. Then the industrial revolution started, and it became “one size fits all”.

Following this came the life changes of a modern, high tech society that saw less activity, processed foods, over eating and variety of different forces from social, environmental, emotional, leading to obesity and ill health. From there came a vast array of diet plans.

The created a study where a mixed macronutrient shake was given to 1400 people and they were monitored closely with intermittent blood testing. The test revealed that everyone metabolizes fats differently. The data spread was extraordinary.

This made completes sense to me because I have observed how some people can only lose weight on a very low fat, high complex carbohydrate diet, while others can only lose weight on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet.

The followed this up with a testing regime for each of 100 participants in a study, to determine what worked for each individual and then creating a Personalised Nutritional Plan. The results were quite extraordinary.

Over the duration of the study there was a 74% drop in total BMI readings and a 25% drop in obesity.

It seems with technological advancements, it will not be long before the capacity to assess and prescribe will soon be affordable and available.


We then heard from David Bosshart, PhD, CEO of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, an Independent Economic Think-tank specialising in trend research in economics, retail and social issues.

His presentation took an uplifting turn with a very different perspective on food and dining habits. He talked of how food has become a top priority in our lives, but we are overwhelmed by choice and confusion reigns supreme.

We have moved from food to superfood. Culture has shifted to food cults and fans have become fanatics. There are so many food ideologies spreading rapidly around the planet, and the reason they spread is because we have so much attention on food. But while tech opportunities and social norms are changing, basic human needs and desires prevail, and tribal behaviour is perhaps stronger than ever. Interesting.

He talked of human life being production and reproduction – food and sex. Food touches our senses in many ways. When we eat with someone we are sharing a sensory experience.

In the 60’s and 70’s, society was polarized by music tastes. Now it is food. We are more defined by what we don’t eat. This has become so significant, and people are so identified by what they do not eat, that Google has removed the egg from their salad emoji for fear of offending someone.

Perception is also playing a huge role as we are often eating what makes the best photo. The connection to social media is strong and captivating. This creates incredible pressure on restaurants, just because of the picture. This has given rise to the concept of “foodporn”.

He talked of “chewology” and how it will become a science in the coming years. He talked of how McDonalds removed chewing from the eating ritual. He talked of how pancakes have become a food that is swallowed direct. Significant parts of the digestive process have been bypassed.

He posted the following slide, quoting a recommendation from Chief Food Strategist, Mark Miller.

“If you put something 10 seconds in the middle, then chew, because you get the retro-nasal, there’s two parts. Smell first. First of all smell, like in a wine thing. Get the right software in your head. Is it a fruit or is it a hotdog? Chew for a few seconds, then stop, and then the enzymatic response is 10 to 15; some flavours take 30 minutes to develop on the palate completely. What I am going to ask you: is it a fast flavor or a slow flavor. Lemon is fast. Pork fat is slow.”

Connection is a driving force for people and so drinking has become a ritual that keeps people together. Often times friendships arise out of drinking. Food has also become a critical factor in friendship.

He shared that their research revealed that Social Eating and Drinking lead to bonding and friendship which correlates with happiness, health and recovery from disease.

He reported that research revealed that non-drinkers do not go out as much to socialize.

He also reported that in recent years, behaviour is changing again as a result of the “food quickie”, Uber Eats, experience on demand. This also includes things like modified wines, like a 2017 cannabis infused and alcohol removed Sauvignon Blanc, and a new Cannabis Beer that has been brewed in Canada. This “biohacking” leads to a stronger experience coupled with greater convenience.

He also recommended that when it comes to digestive wellness, trust your gut. How does that food make my gut feel?

He recommended the following:


  • Athletic Eating – overreliance on functionalized food.
  • Too much upscaled convenience food.
  • Good food fast is still fast food.
  • Focusing on Experience on Demand.




  • Social Eating and Social Drinking with Friends, sharing laughter and stories
  • Chewology Enhancement
  • Taste improvement, common senses and judgement
  • Microbiome Feel Good.


More on Wellness Works. After posting my article on Day 2, I realised that I still had not reviewed a lot of the notes I took from Mindy Grossman’s interview.

She talked about how they reviewed all the initiatives happening in the world and realised that people were still not getting more well. They wanted to move away from financial returns on equity and start evaluating human returns on equity. They saw a significant responsibility in WW becoming much more.

She said they felt their biggest competitor is people believing they can go it alone. They set out to democratize health. As I am aware from previous Global Wellness Summits, Mindy shared that WW has been evolving over time and the more they evolve, the greater the impact.

She shared that they developed an Impact Manifesto and built the tenets that would underpin that manifesto, stated the bold moves they would make and then announced their intentions. But, she said, the announcement was not an investor presentation. It was to the employees and was a broadcast to the world.

Part of the initiative was a partnership with Headspace, developed FitPoints 2.0, an activity tracking system that encourage activity choices based on what will have the greatest impact on an individual's health and wellness.

Their new Rewards program is not based on spend but is designed to encourage behaviours that improve wellbeing. She said that they have set out to add major value to the community. They want to bring communities together.

Since they have moved in this new direction, their membership base has increased by over 1 million members.

When Oprah came on board and invested int eh company, the stock rose 13 times.

She shared that WW now has a very strong sense of purpose and she shared that if you do not have that, your business won’t be sustainable long term. She said that their mission and related initiatives are not words on a wall. Everything goes through their “purpose filter”. In doing this, they are seeking to tap into people’s “why”.

Part of their future direction is to open WW Cafes. The first will be in Brooklyn.

She shared that the connection and community is becoming quite profound. She shared that one very successful woman who joined WW had a terrible tragedy with the suicide death of her son. She shared that 11,000 WW members reached out to support her. That is community!




We next heard from Professor Mary Tabacchi, Founder of the Cornell Institute for Healthy Living.

This was a powerful presentation form a woman who has been working in this field and studying human wellbeing for many decades.

She shared some data from Web MD and the attitudes of Physicians to Obesity. She shared that there is a great deal of inertia. She shared bluntly that most physicians have no idea how to treat obesity. They tell a patient to “Go on a diet and see me in three months”. After that they resort to medications. But there is a lack of training. Only 5 medical schools in the US cover obesity in their medical training.

She talked of the impact of the FTO Gene and the fact that people struggling with obesity have no satiety and just do not stop eating when they have had enough.

She shared that obesity contributes to 40% of all cancers. She quoted a Harvard study that predicts 60% of kids today will be obese by age 35 and will die prematurely.

She said that more than ever, people in Medical, Health and Wellness Fields must walk their talk.

She shared that not only must people lose weight, but then we have to sustain. This will create a larger group of people who are gaining but will live longer. This metric does not work for government.

She shared that when people suffer heart disease, they are put on a maintenance plan. Obese people are not. Obesity is not seen as a disease or a medical problem.

She shared in closing that we cannot blame our genes for disease. At best, it is 20% genes and 80% lifestyle.


We then heard from Catherine Feliciano-Chon, founder and Managing Director of CatchOn and Company LTd, Hong Kong, talking about the Impact of China on Wellness.

She gave us an incredible education on what is happening with Chinese Tourism. She shared that by 2030, there would be 400 million overseas trips by Chinese residents. She said that the Chinese meddle class has 430million today and by the mid 2020’s it will expand to 780 million.

A scale of total spend by tourists in 2016 showed that Chinese spent $261 Billion, whilst the US in second place spent $124 billion. It is expected that the Chinese spend will extend to $429 Billion by 2021. And at this time, only 7% of Chinese Citizens are Passport Holders.

The breakdown of their spend was also interesting. 25% on shopping. 19% on accommodation. 16% on dining. 14% on tourist attractions. 10% on local transportation. 8% on Recreation.

She also showed that travellers from second tier Chinese Cities tend to spend more than those from 1st tier cities.

Their most popular destinations are:

1.      Thailand

2.      Japan

3.      Singapore

4.      Vietnam

5.      Indonesia

6.      Malaysia

7.      The Philippines

8.      USA

9.      South Korea

10.  Maldives

11.  Cambodia

12.  Russia

13.  The UAE

14.  Italy

15.  Egypt

16.  Australia

17.  Germany

18.  Sri Lanka

19.  Turkey

20.  The UK

She shared that medical Tourism is growing rapidly. The drivers are a growing middle class and urbanization, a strained healthcare system that is not trusted and a rapidly aging market. Because of their wealth, cost is not an issue. There were 500,000 medical travellers in 2017 and by 2020 it will reach 900,000. The top destinations are:

1.      Japan

2.      South Korea

3.      US

4.      Taiwan

5.      Germany

6.      Singapore

7.      Malaysia

8.      Switzerland

9.      Thailand

10.  India

She shared that tourism is being driven by females. There are 34 million less females in China, yet there are 25% more female travellers than male. By 2019, it will be 59% female and 41% male.

But there is also the 7 person trip. Due to the one child policy, young professionals have two parents and four grand parents and they are taking it upon themselves to take them traveling. It is the 4-2-1 family nucleus. It is called Multigenerational travel.

If Chinese People behave badly overseas, the Government confiscates their passport.

If we look at what is happening in the world in response to Chinese Tourism, it is incredible. For example, new resorts are popping up everywhere in Fiji and other parts of the Pacific. Indonesia is creating ten new islands like Bali.

The Chinese symbol for Wellness comprises Nurture, Nutrition, Life and Vitality.

She also talked about China’s new Status Symbol -0- a curvy butt. Gym Memberships have doubled since 2008. There were 6.6 million members in 2016. There are more than 37,000 fitness clubs in China. There were more than 100 Marathons held last year, a 100% increase in 3 years. The number of football pitches will rise from approximately 50,000 to 70,000 in 2020. One Fitness App hit 10 million sales in 89 days.

Sportswear sales rose 11% in 2017 and China is the 2nd largest market for Nike and Adidas. Fitness Apps are going through the roof. China also ahs 10,800 yoga schools with 12 million practicing, which has tripled in 10 years. It is being driven by affluent females. They have even created a Yoga Village.

Cosmetic Surgery is also on the rise with the quest for Double Eyelids, a High Nose, Oval Shaped Face and a Sharp Chin. In 2017, 14 million people in China underwent some type of cosmetic surgery. China ranks third in the world behind the Us and Brazil. 96% of recipients are professionals under 35, and 10% are men.

Most Wellness and Spa Resorts are failing to cater to the merging and rapidly changing trends in the Chinese Market. Most are attempting to service the trends of the 1970’s, however the Chinese have moved far beyond that.

The Eight Hot Button issues/opportunities in China are:

1.      Obesity – largest overweight population in the world. 10.8% men and 14.9% women

2.      Device Addiction – 800 million internet users. 98% mobile. 24 million addicts.

3.      Sleep Deprivation – early 40% have sleep issues. 60 million with sleep apnoea

4.      Spirituality – People seeking a new moral compass. Christian Revival. Buddhism Boom.

5.      Dental and Oral Care – Total Dental and Oral Care Boom

6.      Healthy Aging – 35% of China’s population will be over 60 by 2050.

7.      Food Safety – Tougher to keep tight controls.

8.      Pollution – Major opening for Green Investments.

Think of this though. When the US took over as the World’s Super Power its population tripled. What will happen with China?

#fatigueprevention #fatigueprofessor #wideawake #wideawakeapp #johntoomey #globalwellness #gws2018 #technogym


All credit for this article must go to the author of this document Mr. John Toomey

Keynotes, Huffington Post Columnist,

Fatigue Prevention Speaker, Author,

Wellness Thoughtleader,

Licensed Avatar® Master