Photograph by Aaron Wojack

How Marc Belton's Online Communities Are Boosting Boomer Health

Marc Belton
EVP, global strategy, growth, and marketing innovation, General Mills

Belton, 51, is boosting boomers' health by creating engaging and interactive communities online.

"It's our job to create healthier products for boomers — if you don't, you've got no street cred. But life isn't just about health benefits; it's about engagement and community. People like to talk about themselves and be part of a story. One of our websites, Eat Better America, asks consumers to submit their favorite unhealthy recipes, and our team will healthify them. We recently launched a site with Yahoo called Vitality, which celebrates people who begin a new career during retirement. A campaign tied to Cheerios, which has seen tremendous growth in the boomer market because of the heart-health benefits, features an online community where consumers talk about why they want to take care of their heart, whether it's for their kids or their work or staying vital as they age. We highlight heroes of the campaign — one man used to be in terrible health but now runs marathons — to inspire others. We're creating a conversation."

Photograph by Aaron Wojack

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  • Suzanne Stantley

    More than any time in history, Americans have an opportunity to become more proactive in reversing many of their health issues but it takes commitment and a better understanding that change can come about with education and corrective intervention.

    If we are to make an impact on the serious health and economic consequences of many diseases plaguing Americans particulaly as they age, risks need to be identified early enough to make lifestyle modifications or seek medical help, and avoid becoming a part of the rising statistics. But in order to accomplish this we need to educate more and more people. This is why the American Summit on Cardiometabolic Disease will deliver interactive workshops, keynote presentations and panel discussions on cardiometabolic disease and its comorbidities, cardiovascular disease, stroke, nutrition. Attendees will be educated by physicicans, thought-leaders and researchers on the need to foster healthy choices and healthy lifestyles for patients, employees, members and customers all of whom are impacted when productivity is reduced due to sickness or disease. In order to improve health, it is important to understand why health is failing.

    Visit our website for more information on why you might want to attend this conference at www.ascmd.com.

  • Kelly EHB

    Mr. Belton,
    EXCELLENT use of social media to improve ehealth options and healthcare outcomes! You and your community participants may also be interested in additional information on how to improve their options through ehealth resources, provided at:

    Thanks much & keep up the good work! Kelly EHB

  • Bette Boomer

    Mr. Belton, you are on the right track.

    Don't tell boomers that old age starts at 65 - age IS just a number to us. We’ve tapped into the fountain of youth through a whole-life, full-tilt physical and mental lifestyle to avoid a long decline to old age.
    In our youth we revolutionized just about everything because of our sheer numbers. We’re now set to redefine aging into agelessness. Characteristically optimistic, we’re not retiring - we’re reinventing ourselves into a "second act" of meaningful employment while continuing to pump $ into the economy. We’re making career changes that foster a sense of personal and social renewal – our boomer do good-live well philosophy. Some boomers merge paid work and a volunteer life. Others opt for a kind of “third stage” where we volunteer, mentor and life coach as a way to give back. Boomers continue to build rich lives on the foundation of actively staying in the mainstream and never retiring from life.

    Many of us, who were out to change the world in the ‘60s, are now looking for ways to improve it. We’ve embraced social media to stay engaged. We’re inventing new gizmos and gadgets and creating new services for our demographic. New mountains to climb nurture new options.

    Boomers are paving the way to achieving at least an additional three decades of longevity; we’re well on the way to becoming centenarians who personify that living well never gets old! We invite you to join us at www.betteboomer.com to check-out our "street cred."