Erin Thompson Curlett, Senior Content & Social Media Marketing Manager
We want to extend a big thank you to our latest Clear Insights webinar presenter, Ron Goetzel, Research Professor and Director at Emory University's Institute for Health and Productivity Studies and Thomson Reuters Vice President of Consulting and Applied Research. The recording of his presentation, The Economic Impacts of Obesity in the Workplace - And, What You Can Do About It, is now available on Clear Insights.
Much of the rise in skyrocketing healthcare costs today can be attributed to the increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary conditions, and chronic back pain. Why the increase in disease prevalence? One major cause is the epidemic rise in obesity rates among Americans: today, two-thirds of adults are overweight; one-third is obese. Many of todays most commonly prescribed drugs are for obesity-related conditions, and as such, obese individuals spend two to four times more on prescription medications than adults who are non-obese. Add this to associated losses in productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism, and its an equation that equals financial trouble for many organizations.
Yet studies have shown that in many cases, weight loss significantly reduces healthcare and medical expenditures. And clinical evidence has shown that even a 5-10% weight loss is enough to reap significant health benefits and reverse the progression of certain chronic conditions. The question for employers is how to help their workforce take the weight off and keep it off in a healthy way.
In The Economic Impacts of Obesity in the Workplace - And, What You Can Do About It, Dr. Goetzel discusses the rising health and productivity-related expenditures that employers face, the top 10 most costly chronic conditions, and the role obesity plays in creating or exacerbating these conditions. He also shares data from several large U.S.-based research studies conducted at corporations like PepsiCo and Dow Chemical and highlights success factors for employee weight loss and overall worksite health.