The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services challenged our country with a national health objective called “Healthy People 2010”. The goal was to reduce obesity to 15% of the entire population for each of the 50 states.
Results were bleak: not one state in the country was able to meet the challenge. Mississippi weighed in heaviest at 34.4%. Only two states, Colorado and Washington D.C., had rates below 20%. Even bleaker, the results were self-reported which has shown that participants typically overstate their height and understate their weight.
The report says that the price tag on our collective obesity issue has reached a hefty $147 billion dollars a year. The director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Thomas Frieden, noted that not only did every state fail to reach their target, but that nationwide “obesity rates have doubled in adults and tripled in children” over the past few decades.
Fearsome numbers to say the least, and they draw a bright red line from your company to corporate health promotion. Why? Increased national obesity means increased death and illness from related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Any company that offers health insurance as a health benefit is directly affected by that $147 billion price tag.
There are numerous benefits of corporate wellness, including providing on-site foot soldiers in the war against obesity that know how to produce sophisticated, effective programs, results, and education. Workplace wellness boosts employee morale, reduces stress and directly influences your company’s retention and talent pool.
It’s a war you need to win. Arm your company accordingly.