Could organisers do more to avoid making any lasting positive societal health benefits from the 2012 Olympics?

In London last week I got a personal tour of some of the major healthcare developments that are being undertaken in preparation for the arrival of the London 2012 Olympics.

It total it was really quite depressing to see that the public health opportunity looks set to be a complete failure.

Although it’s easy to imagine the why – prominent commercial sponsors include fast food and sugary drink brands – but it also seems to be down to poor communications around the concept of sport and health.

For example check out this advice from Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner, to stop for a beer to stagger your travel times:

Why isn’t there some coordination of the communications surrounding this opportunity? How about suggesting Londoners take a walk in one of the cities 150+ open green spaces? Spending some time using the extensive network of public recreational facilities? Hiring one of the bikes that make up London’s 20km2 rental bike scheme?

Global thought leadership and developments in Healthcare were a defining feature of the last Olympics in London (which saw the launch of the NHS and the first Paralympics) but this one just seems to be largely an exercise in helping create the next trillion dollar industry (Homeland Security):

Of course visitors will be able to experience how the UK’s advanced 3G mobile networks enable the world’s most accessible Doctor service and there’s not going to be a support team without a bag of iPad’s loaded with video content and adorned with Nike Fuel wristbands but have you heard of any mHealth services that are going to be playing any more specific roles in the games?

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About David Doherty
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1 Response to Could organisers do more to avoid making any lasting positive societal health benefits from the 2012 Olympics?

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