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Issue 042

To understand how healthy a food is, we generally look at its components – carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or the vitamins, minerals and other substances it may contain. But this purely “nutritional” vision overlooks one property that’s a key part of a food’s health potential – its structure. For example, serving a child a breakfast cereal made up of whole wheat or rice may seem like a good idea, but research shows that processing can significantly impact its nutritive qualities. Extrusion-cooking or puffing can transform wheat and rice into primarily a source of sugars that the child’s body rapidly absorbs, and many of the nutritive values of the original grains are lost.

The human body needs a tiny amount of sodium to function properly and this is typically found in salt (sodium chloride). But today most people consume way too much salt, increasing the burden of cardiovascular disease around the world. Health professionals have been trying to tackle this problem for decades, but face several barriers, including research that muddies the water about what safe levels of salt intake are. This has cast unnecessary doubt on the importance of reducing intakes. But our latest research has found flaws in these studies and suggests that salt intake should be reduced even further than current recommendations.

It isn’t surprising that employers are looking for ways to improve the health and engagement of their employees when their challenges are so evident: Medical inflation rates continue to be high globally, with the 2019 global average being 7.8%, reported by Aon1. Indeed, in many countries, this is much higher, even exceeding the local inflation rate by double-digit percentage points.

1967: IGP was founded with Ford as its first Client In the 1960s, Ford began to expand globally, and Ford of Europe was established in 1967. At the time, Ford was the largest domestic client of John Hancock’s Group Insurance Division. The concept of multinational pooling did exist at the time, though it was not widely practiced. Ford and John Hancock collaborated on the possibility of reinsuring and pooling the employee benefits plans of Ford’s overseas operations.

Matthew Lawrence Aon Chief Broking Officer, Health Solutions, EMEA Matthew has worked in the health industry for 20 years, where he carries out a variety of leadership roles for Aon’s Health Solutions business. As well coordinating and executing the broking strategy for the EMEA region, Matthew leads Aon’s health and analytics capabilities. He advises some of Europe’s largest and most complex employers on the financing of their benefit programmes,