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May 22/29, 2018

Behavioral Phenotyping in Health Promotion: Embracing or Avoiding Failure

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Penn Center for Community Health Workers, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 3Center for Health Care Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 4Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2018;319(20):2075-2076. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2921

Many employers have campaigns that incentivize employees to track their weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. These initiatives make sense based on a theory that self-monitoring not only keeps people focused on their health but also gives them metrics and goals for regulating their behavior. When an employee steps on a scale and sees that he gained weight in the last week, he might reflect on how he changed his snacking habits or may become motivated to increase his physical activity.