There’s no nice way to say it. We Americans are fat, and we get fatter every year. According to the CDC; “About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese. Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.”
And it‘s getting worse. The CDC predicts that one third of those born in 2000 will develop type two Diabetes, and some articles suggest that parents may possibly outlive their children.
It’s a no brainer that a healthy employee is going to cost your company less than an employee that is likely to die in middle age due to cardiovascular disease and complications that come from obesity.
The cost of healthcare premiums has doubled in the past ten years, according to the July 30th issue of The Economist. That makes it harder for your company to continue to offer healthcare. But some companies have started to do more than “suggest” that their employees quit smoking, lean up, and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Some companies have started to penalize the employees who don’t. Many firms no longer allow smoking at their facilities. In fact, The Economist cites GE Capital, who first offered their employees incentives for quitting smoking, and now, those who continue to smoke must pay an additional $650 for health insurance.
That’s where wellness programs excel. Wellness professionals know how to build programs for your company that will inspire lasting change. It’s one thing to lose 20 or more pounds, but to provide the education, information, and incentives to help your employee keep it off for a lifetime, quit smoking, and show their families how to do the same, is priceless on many levels.