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Vegetarian giant to eat more data, weigh less

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Google is getting its ducks in a row for its push into medical information. The advertising broker has rounded up a herd of healthcare policy-types to advise it on medical matters.

The new Health Advisory Council will be chaired by University of California, San Francisco professor Dean Ornish, who runs non-profit organisation The Preventive Medicine Research Institute, but is best known for veggie diet bestseller Eat More, Weigh Less. US health insurers love his ideas, and offer discounts to blobby clients who agree to sign up to them.

Other notables on the board include ex-Reagan staffer Dan Crippen, who's also a big wheel at powerful beltway lobbying firm the Duberstein Group.

The full list is here. The Open Medicine blog, run by medical librarians, has cried foul over Google's perceived snub of its profession.

The board will offer feedback on Google's product development efforts in health. Despite surfacing last year, Google Health, which is run by former BEA Systems engineering vice-president and database authority Adam Bosworth, is yet to launch a product.

The highest profile move Google has made in the field so far was May's $4m investment in 23andMe, a personal genetics venture cooked up by Sergey Brin's wife Anne Wojcicki.®

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