New McKinsey Study: Most drivers of health sit outside conventional healthcare systems and are modifiable

The new McKinsey study provides an in-depth discussion of the various drivers of health and how they can be improved or weakened based on individual choices and how systems and structures operate. It emphasizes the importance of health literacy and underscores the role that every person and institution on Earth can play in improving health.

One of the highlights is that achieving great health is not only about what we avoid but also about what we pursue. O Individuals must take responsibility for their own health and become stewards of their well-being, recognizing the primacy of individuals in improving health literacy and making day-to-day trade-offs.

One critical point that the document highlights is that most of the distinctions between "clinical" and "lifestyle" interventions are mostly artificial, and if it works, it works. The evidence is already overwhelming that nonconventional: modifiable drivers of health are deeply relevant to our health. Despite the fact that less than 5 percent of modifiable drivers of health are defined consistently (or at all), captured systematically, and made broadly available as data, substantial research supports that 23 modifiable drivers of health lead to either a material improvement in physical, mental, social, and/or spiritual function and/or to longevity.

Humans are incredibly adaptable and cites several examples of large-scale behavior changes that have had a positive effect on human health. For instance, nutritional fortification and supplementation have benefited billions of people, and workplace injury, illness, and death have fallen dramatically over the past one hundred years. Almost every institution on Earth has a role to play in improving health literacy and adapting strategies, policies, and resources to help optimize health.

The paper highlights that every government ministry should consider how to use its resources to positively affect drivers of health while developing strategies to improve health literacy. Every business should realize that it is in the business of health, and every employer should recognize the profound impact that an employee's experience has on their health. Employers realize that adapting to improve the health of their employees is good for the people and economically attractive. Conventional healthcare stakeholders must adapt by promoting holistic and functional health, empowering individuals and supporting them in their health journeys.