9. Influencing Positive Public Behaviors: Social Marketing

“In the 1970s, we held the world record for heart disease. The idea then was that a good life was a sedentary life. Everybody was smoking and eating a lot of fat. Finnish men used to say vegetables were for rabbits, not real men, so people simply did not eat vegetables. The staples were butter on bread, full-fat milk and fatty meat ... The biggest innovation was massive community-based intervention. We tried to change entire communities. We would go in, measure everyone’s cholesterol, then go back two months later. We didn’t tell people how to cut cholesterol; they knew that. It wasn’t education they needed; it was motivation. They needed to do it for themselves.”1

Pekka PuskaDirector ...

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