The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer – What It Means for Health/Care in America


Trust in the United States has declined to its lowest level since the Edelman Trust Barometer has conducted its annual survey among U.S. adults. Welcome to America in Crisis, as Edelman brands Brand USA in 2018.

In the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, across the 28 nations polled, trust among the “informed public” in the U.S. “plunged,” as Edelman describes it, by 23 points to 45. The Trust Index in America is now #28 of 28 countries surveyed (that is, rock bottom), dropping below Russia and South Africa.

“The public’s confidence in the traditional structures of American leadership is now fully undermined and has been replaced with a strong sense of fear, uncertainty and disillusionment,” Edelman observes.

Government had the steepest decline (14 points) among the general population. Fewer than one in three believe that government officials are credible.

So who do we, the public, trust?

By industry sector, we trust technology, education, professional services, and transportation. We, the public, least-trust financial services, consumer packaged goods, and the automotive sector.

By country, the highest trust is for companies located in Canada (thank you, Prime Minister Trudeau), Switzerland, Sweden, and Australia. Least trusted nations for company HQs are Mexico, India, Brazil, and China. The U.S. is in the middle between most-and-least trusted, with 50% of the public trusting companies headquartered in America — a decline of 5 points since 2017, the largest fall of the countries surveyed.

By persona, who do we trust? Not our peers or people-like-us, as much as we used to. This year, we most trust technical and academic experts as the most credible spokespeople. “Credentialed sources are proving more important than ever,” Edelman found.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: In the U.S., “the biggest victim has been confidence in truth,” Edelman concludes. Richard Edelman, the company’s President and CEO, believes, “The root cause of this fall [in trust] is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse.”

Every year here on Health Populi, I assess the Edelman Trust Barometer’s health and health care implications. Back in 2012, the U.S. public trusted government much more, and social networks and people-like-me influenced our health and healthcare as a trusted source.

This chart on trust by industry sector illustrates that peoples’ trust in healthcare eroded by two percentage points over last year.

This year, health/care stakeholders have much to learn from the study. On the upside, it’s technical and academic experts who hold the most trust equity with consumers, even beyond peers (and collective social networks and platforms). Healthcare can leverage researchers (say, at pharma and life science companies), physicians and nurses (working in healthcare provider organizations), pharmacists (in retail pharmacies), and front-line nurse practitioners and clinical professionals in ambulatory care settings. At health plans, CEOs and leadership must bolster trust — and can — based on the Edelman Trust Barometer’s finding that 64% of the public believe CEOs should lead and not wait for government to mandate.

Technology is the most-trusted sector in 2018 — and healthcare has much to gain by modernizing the sector, going beyond the EHR implementations that have slowed down and physician productivity and burnt out their human capital and spirits based on the most recent Medscape physician survey.

Edelman has some recommendations for the biggest national “trust losers,” led by the United States, illustrated in the last chart. The five pillars are good advice for health/care:

  • To guard information quality (based on evidence-based medicine and sound clinical research);
  • To protect consumers (by reducing medical errors, harm, and healthcare disparities, right-sizing healthcare services, and shielding people from the financial toxicity of high healthcare costs);
  • To safeguard privacy, ensuring consumers’ HIPAA rights in the U.S. for privacy and security, guarding against cyber-attacks on personal health information, and demonstrating the highest level of data stewardship on behalf of health citizens;
  • To drive economic prosperity in communities, paying fair wages, supporting and respecting health care human capital; and,
  • To innovate.

All stakeholders, public and private sector, “will need to work together to find a new foothold with the public, one that is firmly grounded in a commitment to truth.” Edelman advises overall. Certainly, this advice is well-crafted for health/care in America.

(Submitted by Hugh John Malanaphy, H.W., m.)

Survey: Who’s Telling the Truth

The lies we tell. Men and women gave us the straight answers (

76 percent of people said it’s OK to lie sometimes (even on Facebook profiles), but the subjects of those fibs tend to depend on your gender, according to a new CreditDonkey poll of over 1,200 Americans.

Assuming most survey respondents were honest about their propensity for falsehoods, more than three-quarters of the participants in the survey believe lying is acceptable in some cases. Behind this astonishing figure is the fact that what respondents lie about varies by gender.

Men More Likely to Lie about Achievements; Women Tend to Lie About Their Health and Beauty, a credit card comparison and financial education site, conducted the survey to find out who is telling the truth and why people lie. When respondents were asked to identify the topics they most often lied about, men revealed they prefer to bluff about money and their accomplishments while women are more likely to be less than truthful about their health and appearance.

Money and Accomplishments:

  • When asked if they have ever lied about their accomplishments, 27.7 percent of men admitted they had, compared with 16.8 percent of women.
  • 24.1 percent of men have lied on their Facebook profile versus 16.6 percent of women.
  • 21.7 percent of men have lied on a resume, compared with 16.3 percent of women.
  • 42.1 percent of men have lied about their financial well-being versus 37.6 percent of women.

Health and Beauty:

  • Women are more likely to lie to their doctors, with 25.6 percent saying they had done so, compared with just 17.4 percent of men.
  • 34.9 percent of women have lied about their diets versus 24.8 percent of men.
  • 31.1 percent of women have lied about their exercise regimens, compared with 24.5 percent of men.
  • A whopping 51.7 percent of women have lied about their weight, while just 28 percent of men have fudged that number.
Have you ever lied in any of the following situations

In addition to what people lie about, it’s interesting to note who they try to deceive. Women are more likely to often tell “tall tales” to their parents than men (43.6 percent vs. 37.4 percent), but men more often fib to friends (44.1 percent vs. 38.3 percent). One of the few things men and women both do in equal amounts is lying to those who probably know them better than anyone. Less than a quarter of all respondents said they “often” lie to their brothers, sisters and significant others.

Do you often lie to your

Despite this, remember: there’s little reason to believe that we live in a society awash in alibis and disinformation. Overall, just 3 percent of those polled said they lie “often,” whereas more than 66 percent of respondents said they are “seldom” or “never” dishonest.

On the other hand, 90 percent of survey participants think everyone lies, so at any given moment, it may be impossible to know who’s telling the truth.

(CreditDonkey conducted the online survey of 1,254 Americans, age 18 and over, between August 8 and August 12, 2014.)

(Submitted by Hugh John Malanaphy, H.W., m.)

What is Weaponized Narrative?

Weaponized narrative is an attack that seeks to undermine an opponent’s civilization, identity, and will. By generating confusion, complexity, and political and social schisms, it confounds response on the part of the defender.

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How Does Weaponized Narrative Work?

A fast-moving information deluge is the ideal battleground for this kind of warfare – for guerrillas and terrorists as well as adversary states. A firehose of narrative attacks gives the targeted populace little time to process and evaluate. It is cognitively disorienting and confusing – especially if the opponents barely realize what’s hitting them. Opportunities abound for emotional manipulation undermining the opponent’s will to resist.

How Do You Recognize Weaponized Narratives?

Efforts by Russia to meddle in the elections of Western democracies – including France and Germany as well as the United States – are in the news. The Islamic State’s weaponized narrative has been highly effective. Even political movements have caught on, as one can see in the rise of the alt-right in the United States and Europe. In short, many different types of adversaries have found weaponized narratives advantageous in this battlespace. Additional recent targets have included Ukraine, Brexit, NATO, the Baltics, and even the Pope.

How Can You Help?

This Weaponized Narrative Initiative site serves as a place to:

  • Submit your own writings and videos about weaponized narrative.
  • Converse with others interested in weaponized narrative.
  • Submit your own examples of possible weaponized narrative attacks.
  • Check out our PublicationsLibrary and Blog areas to find the latest information.

icon - get involved in the weaponized narrative initiative

Join our Operations Directorate, and contribute examples and ideas that advance our understanding of how weaponized narrative can be defended against, and how it can be utilized.

icon - get involved in the weaponized narrative initiative

Join our Research Directorate, and contribute examples and ideas that advance our understanding of weaponized narrative.

The Weaponized Narrative Initiative is a project of the non-partisan Center on the Future of War, a partnership between Arizona State University and the independent Washington, D.C., think tank New America.

(Submitted by Hugh John Malanaphy, H.W. m.)

Former Facebook Exec Chamath Palihapitiya On Social Media, Bitcoin, And Elon Musk | CNBC


Published on Dec 12, 2017

Chamath Palihapitiya, owner of Golden State Warriors and former Facebook executive, addresses his recent comments on social media, his views on bitcoin, and his take on Tesla founder Elon Musk in a wide-ranging interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
» Subscribe to CNBC:

(Submitted by Hugh John Malanaphy, H.W., m.)

A poem by Eloi-Sun

In my integrity, beloved, wherein I see as God
I see you on life’s shining path,
Your feet with glory shod.

I see you free and unafraid above the clouds of doubt.
I want to believe in you…
It makes no difference what you say or do
For in your soul I see a plan —
The pattern of the Heaven-man.

I’m the Saviour
When I see perfection only in thee.
While others knock or pull you down
I upon you never frown
But hold to that above your par,
The Heaven-man you really are.

For when I see you truly great
I wipe illusion from your slate
And help you see with me
The vision clear that sets you free.

For you are That, the Perfect One,
God’s beloved only Son.
So, stand erect and believe in YOU
For you really are the Saviour, too.

~ Eloi-Sun

Relationships really do lead to weight gain, study finds

Article Image

If you live in the United States or Canada, you’ve likely heard the term ‘Freshman 15’. In my day it was referenced as the ‘Freshman 10’, but weight trends continue to tick upwards. A half-world away, in Australia and New Zealand, the weight gain high school students experience in their college transition is referred to as ‘First Year Fatties’ or ‘Fresher Five’, their arbitrary weight gain being measured in kilograms.

The reason for this trend is attributed to multiple factors: stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, carbohydrate- and sugar-rich cafeteria food, lack of exercise. Whatever the reason, or myriad reasons, hopefully the student gets on track by year two and finds a healthier rhythm. 

This is not the only time in life in which weight just seems to add up. A new study published in PLOS One tracked 15,001 Australian adults over a decade to discover the reasons why individuals in relationships are more likely to be overweight or obese—or simply put on a few. 

A team led by Stephanie Schoeppe, at the Central Queensland University in Australia, crunched the data of volunteers between the years 2005-2014 and discovered a paradox: even though people in relationships tend to live healthier lifestyles, each partner tends to gain weight. 

Weight gain chart 1

Couples, they discovered, smoke less, eat less fast food and drink less alcohol, and watch less television. Yet overall they weigh more than single volunteers. Even with this self-reported data, though, the authors write: 

Marriage and cohabiting also carry the potential for encouraging unhealthy behaviours, as couples often perform behaviours like eating, watching TV and drinking alcohol together. 

That is, while they’re consuming less junk than single individuals, by engaging in these activities together they’re likely loosening their own self-imposed rules, allowing them to binge more and focus on health less. This is slightly counterintuitive, given that couples tend to want to live longer in order to spend more time with their partners.

Couples are also out of the dating pool, where putting your best foot forward is essential. An emphasis on physical shape and healthy lifestyle behaviors is an evolutionarily beneficial tool for singles. As Schoeppe says

When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more, or eating more foods high in fat and sugar. When couples have children in the household, they tend to eat the children’s leftovers or snacks.

The length of time one has been in a relationship also matters. Cohabitating for over two years seems to be when the pounds start to add up. 

Weight gain chart 2

There are a number of factors not included in this survey, such as the quality of the relationship. Happier couples tend to endure stressful times together instead of stressing one another out. Elevated cortisol leads to weight gain; if the relationship isn’t working out, that could contribute to packing on pounds. 

Still, one trend in relationships that’s booming is fitness. One adage goes, “couples that sweat together, stay together,” a trend that I can attest to, having worked at Equinox Fitness for the last 14 years. Couples that exercise together inspire one another, whereas I’ve talked to a number of members whose partners do not exercise. While not causation, I’ve noticed a definite correlation with dissatisfaction in these situations. 


Inspiring one another, in a relationship or simply by staying healthy and influencing friends, is an important step in curbing our obesity epidemic. Couples that work out together might feel justified in “cheating” after dinner, which is not how our bodies work: diet is more relevant to weight gain than exercise. You can’t “burn off” calories in the way the myth goes. 

The researchers recognize that everyone faces their own issues in an age of constant entertainment distraction and unhealthy foodstuffs on offer at every turn. They conclude:

These findings suggest that health behaviour interventions are needed in both singles and couples, but relationship status needs to be considered in interventions targeting alcohol, fast food, smoking and BMI.

If you really love your partner and want to spend more time with them over the long haul, it makes sense to inspire one another in every sense of the term. That might mean fewer pints of ice cream or slowing down on the vino, but the reward is worth the sacrifice. 


Derek Beres is the author of Whole Motion and creator of Clarity: Anxiety Reduction for Optimal Health. Based in Los Angeles, he is working on a new book about spiritual consumerism. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

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