Obesity and Blockchain

As if obesity itself were not mysterious and problematic enough, now we are asked to wrap our heads around some odd melding of obesity resistance and a well-nigh incomprehensible concept known as blockchain. So let’s get right to it. The nonfiction prose piece at BlockchainObesity.news is a straightforward press release, but does offer a few other links for those who wish to pursue the subject.

“The Internet Helped Make Us Fat; Will Blockchain Make us Fit?” begins by reviewing some widely-held (and very likely accurate) assumptions about the obesity epidemic — that it is caused by too much sedentary screen time, and all the fast food we eat, and all the exercise we stubbornly and consistently avoid engaging in.

This wise and compassionate paragraph speaks of matters very close to the hearts of all Childhood Obesity News followers:

Finally, when we find the courage to start a diet, we mistakenly do it alone; we often usually fail because we’re too embarrassed or self-conscious to seek the support, counseling or medical interventions that may help us survive the first difficult weeks of a diet to eventually break the unhealthy cycle of food addiction.

Now back to the hard facts. A company called OSA Decentralized, or OSA DC, was formed by Alex Zdrilko and Alex Isaiev. The latter gentleman can be seen and heard giving a presentation to a gathering known as d10e, which describes itself as “the leading conference on decentralization, exploring the future of fintech, ICOs, blockchain, the sharing economy, the future of work, and disruptive culture.”

The video is only 10 minutes long, some of which is devoted to establishing the company’s credentials. The main audience is made up of potential investors, so there is a lot of information about the financial aspects, which we will mostly skip.

The talking points

Industry loses $400 billion per year through inefficiency and another $100 billion through waste. Of course, as always, the ultimate loser is the consumer. Retail is sick, but can be rescued by artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Blockchain is described as “a technology of trust” which collects all data from every nook and cranny of the supply chain, and shares it with the consumers. Is this the ultimate transparency engine that many humans have hypothesized and others have longed for?

Applied to food, apparently all ingredients will be catalogued so the customer who is thinking about buying something can learn what’s inside of it. After all, who has disposable hours to spend standing around in supermarket aisles trying to read infinitesimally tiny print on packaging? Instead, information is obtained via a smart phone app, Digital Diet Assistant.

Capturing current information in retail establishments, shoppers themselves supply data and convey it to headquarters. That’s how they pay for the information they get. There are also more than a dozen other data providers including the giant corporations who manufacture the products; and AI algorithms analyze, organize, and deliver the data. Here’s more:

Because of the transparent, incorruptible nature of the distributed ledger in a blockchain, whenever an outdated product, shipping error, or any other mistake is discovered, either by a partner or an AI algorithm trained in error detection, the problem is immediately resolved and the retailer becomes incrementally more profitable as a result.

A butt of popular humor is the restaurant patron who exasperates the server by engaging in a lengthy interrogation about the meal’s provenance. But never fear…

The blockchain captures information about the farm where a chicken was raised, the river where a fish was caught, and the factory where a brand name soup was canned…

The blockchain will also contain easily searchable and indexed information about every product’s ingredients, including levels of MSG, sugar, sugar substitutes like Aspartame, artificial hormones, saturated fats, trans fats…

OSA believes, perhaps contrary to everything previously known about human nature, that its technology will provide shoppers with “the self-control we all need when we buy groceries” because…

Just as the transparent, open and decentralized ledger of a blockchain will root out and eliminate problems with bloated, unhealthy retail business practices, the OSA team is confident the DDA will have the same effect on unhealthy, overweight people.

It’s not impossible. It could happen, that the people who already want to know everything about their food will finally be satiated; and the people who never particularly cared may begin to care, once they find out how easy it is to become informed.

If this turns out to be a Thing, Childhood Obesity News will be proud of having made note of it so early on. And if not, c’est la vie.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “The Internet Helped Make Us Fat; Will Blockchain Make us Fit?,” BlockchainObesity.news, 07/09/18
Source: “About D10E,” d10e.biz
Source: “Alex Isaiev CEO & Co-Founder at OSA,” YouTube.com, 04/02/18
Image source: YouTube

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:

Presentations

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources