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Building H Index Ranks Companies Based on How Products Affect Consumer’s Health
- Fast Company
“If you ended up binge-watching Bridgerton the last time you planned to go on a run after work, you probably blamed your own lack of discipline. But a nonprofit called Building H suggests that the onus should be placed on Netflix and its aggressive use of autoplay—which helps put the company at the bottom of a new ranking of businesses based on how their products affect the health of their consumers.
“Our everyday lives are making us comfortable, but not very healthy,” says Thomas Goetz, cofounder of Building H. “This is a kind of public health problem that traditionally we expect government to take care of, or healthcare to take care of. But that’s really not an effective way to change. Really, the actual problem is just the infrastructure of everyday life.” That includes, he says, the “product environment” around us that shapes our health, influencing how much we exercise or sleep or socialize, or what we eat.
Our everyday lives are making us comfortable, but not very healthy... This is a kind of public health problem that traditionally we expect government to take care of, or healthcare to take care of. But that’s really not an effective way to change. Really, the actual problem is just the infrastructure of everyday life.Thomas Goetz
Cofounder of PHI’s Building H
The new ranking, called the Building H Index, evaluates 37 companies in four industries that are closely linked to consumer’s daily health decisions—food, entertainment, transportation, and housing. The list is only a subset of companies, with a handful included in each category to represent industry leaders and startups pioneering new approaches. (A smaller pilot version of the project was a finalist in Fast Company‘s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.) A group of public health and health policy experts helped score each company. The aim is to spark a dialogue and get companies to begin considering a question: Are they making it easier or harder for their customers to be healthy?”
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Originally published by Fast Company