Economic fears create health crisis


The mass-class divide revealed in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer: Navigating a Polarized World is manifesting in healthcare. Inequality is creating a tale of two health experiences.

With more people reporting gaps between how well they are taking care of their health and how well they would like to be, cost remains the biggest barrier to reaching those goals, with inflation being the top societal factor negatively impacting people’s health.

Institutional leaders — from healthcare providers to CEOs — should see this tension as an opportunity to address health inequalities, leverage the dispersion of authority, invest in employee health and optimize business around health.


Good health feels further out of reach


There is a meaningful gap between how well I am taking care of my health and how well I should be.

2022 TIH

Only 1 percent of respondents define “being healthy” as purely physical


People are thinking about their health in more expansive terms, with a range of factors contributing to feeling healthy. Most illuminating is the importance of mental health over physical health.


Mental health

Feeling happy
Can manage negative emotions


Physical health

Can do important activities
No sickness or injury
Can manage my physical health

Social health

Have a person I can speak freely to
People care about me
Not discriminated against

Community livability

Clean, safe, peaceful community
Healthy planet




Inflation is making us sick​


Across most surveyed markets, inflation and the past few years of pandemic restrictions are the top societal factors that people say have negatively impacted their health.

Top issues negatively impacting health

  Rated #1     Rated #2

  Inflation Pandemic restrictions Lack of trust Pollution Polarization Burnout
S. Africa        
S. Korea        

Navigating an evolving healthcare crisis




Address health inequalities

Cost is the number one barrier keeping people from being as healthy as they want to be. Consider programs and partnerships that will help people deal with up-front costs and increase healthcare accessibility.




Leverage the dispersion of authority

Friends and family have grown as trusted on health matters as domain experts. Rather than fighting this trend, incorporate it into your approach.



Invest in employee health

Employees benefit greatly when their employers invest in their wellbeing. Make this part of your talent strategy, especially for early career and front-line team members.




Optimize business around health

Health has a bottom-line impact on consumer decisions for businesses across all sectors. Make health central to your products and business operations.



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Watch our launch event

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023 we launched the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust and Health. Our panelists included Angela Wasunna, Vice President, Global Policy & Public Affairs, Emerging Markets, Pfizer; Laura Helmuth, Editor in Chief of Scientific American; Mark Henderson, Director of Corporate Affairs, Wellcome; Sreejit Mohan, Global Head of Corporate Brand Strategy and External Engagement, Novartis. Moderated by Kirsty Graham, Global President, Practice and Sectors, and Global Chair, Health, Edelman with a data presentation by Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman.


Fieldwork conducted: Mar 2 – Mar 13, 2023.





± 1,000

Respondents / Country

What does this mean for your business? 

Please reach out to learn more about the Edelman Trust Barometer.