Workplace Strategy for Reducing the Costs of Obesi

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Healthy Lifestyles/Healthy WeightA Workplace Strategy for Reducing the Costs of Obesity: 

Healthy Lifestyles/Healthy Weight A Workplace Strategy for Reducing the Costs of Obesity

Impact of Overweight & Obesity: 

Impact of Overweight andamp; Obesity Overweight andamp; obesity are a national health epidemic. Nearly 65% of the adult population in the U.S. is overweight or obese. (2003 Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans, CDC National Center for Health Statistics) Obesity is a greater trigger for health problems and health care spending than smoking or drinking. (The Effects of Obesity, Smoking, and Drinking on Medical Problems and Costs, Journal of Health Affairs, March / April 2002). Individuals who are obese have 30% to 50% more chronic medical problems than those who smoke or drink heavily. (The Effects of Obesity, Smoking, and Drinking on Medical Problems and Costs, Journal of Health Affairs, March / April 2002). Obesity is the direct cause of death for 300,000 individuals each year. (Actual Causes of Death in the United States, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1993) Obesity accounts for approximately 9.1% of total annual medical care expenditures. (National Medical Spending Attributable to Overweight and Obesity: How Much and Who’s Paying? Health Affairs, Web Exclusive, 2003).

Business Costs: 

Business Costs The total cost of obesity to U.S companies is estimated at $13 billion per year - $8 billion in health care costs, $2.4 billion in paid sick leave, $1.8 billion in life insurance and $1 billion in disability insurance. (Prevention Makes Common Cents: Estimated Economic Costs of Obesity to U.S. Businesses, DHHS, 2003) Obesity is associated with 30 million lost work days, 239 million restricted activity days, 90 million bed days, and 63 million physician visits. (Current Estimates of the Economic Costs of Obesity in the United States, Obesity Research, 1998) Obese individuals have higher health care utilization rates: 36%  inpatient and outpatient spending 77%  medication spending 48%  health care expenditures over $5,000 11%  annual health care costs (Health Risks and Behavior: The Impact on Medical Costs, Control Data Corporation, 1987)

Financial Costs of Obesity: 

Financial Costs of Obesity Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity 'Health and Disability Costs of Depressive Illness in a Major U.S. Corporation' by Benjamin G. Druss, M.D., M.P.H., Robert A. Rosenheck, M.D. and William H. Sledge, M.D. The American Journal of Psychiatry, Volume 157, No. 8, August 2000:1229-1235

Prevention Strategy: 

Prevention Strategy Workplace involvement improves chance of success Promote EAP availability Focus on behavioral issues associated with lifestyle changes Educate managers and supervisors Develop and communicate clear program related to stress management, healthy eating and improved fitness Outreach communications

Prevention Goals: 

Prevention Goals Enable individuals who may be at risk of health problems due to overweight and obesity to contact the EAP Minimize risk factors for overweight and obesity Reinforce stress management, healthy eating and physical activity, thereby reducing health risks associated with overweight and obesity

Diverse Communications: 

Diverse Communications

Requirements for Success: 

Requirements for Success Strong support of senior leadership to ensure visibility and attention Commitment from internal communications team(s) Participation at all levels of the organization Communicate and promote education through a series of materials, in print and/or online


Strategy Distribute to every employee a memo announcing the healthy weight outreach initiative and emphasize management support Sponsor healthy weight activities, on-site seminars or brown-bag lunches Communicate and promote outreach effort through a series of materials and activities


Measurements Absence rates Medical utilization andamp; disability rates Employee satisfaction Employee participation


Results Enhanced employee health andamp; productivity Reduced healthcare costs associated with overweight and obesity Improved employee perception of employer commitment Increased rate of referral to the EAP

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