Worksite Weight Management Programs Pay Off For Business
A new white paper details the significant benefits to organizations that invest in proven weight control strategies at work.
In "Employer-Sponsored Weight Management Programs: The Business Case," Health Enhancement Systems cites more than a dozen studies highlighting the return on investment in terms of health risks, costs, and worker productivity. "We're losing ground in the fight against fat and it's costing American businesses," states Dean Witherspoon, CEO of Health Enhancement Systems. "Annual healthcare costs are 11% higher among obese vs. nonobese people, and the trend is only getting worse."
The paper highlights successful worksite weight control strategies. Businesses have largely ignored the problem, says Witherspoon, because nothing seemed to work long-term. "While many diets can help people lose weight, nearly 9 in 10 gain it all back in a year or less. Our data shows how individuals are not only losing weight, but keeping it off through permanent lifestyle changes."
Since obesity-related disabilities cost employers an average of $8720 a year per claimant, this represents tremendous opportunity for organizations. "Comorbid conditions include heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol to name a few. Clearly it's in everyone's interest to implement policies and offer programs that can prevent as well as reverse the overweight and obesity," confirms Witherspoon. "Waiting isn't an option. Businesses must step up now -- with tools to help employees and family members reverse the progression toward overweight and obesity."