At the CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC last week, the CDC cited a new study showing that the cost of obesity in the United States has doubled over the past decade. Perhaps even more startling was the statistic that over 9% of all medical costs are now due to obesity.
Some of the objectives for the conference were to:
Identify strategies that overcome barriers to the primary prevention of obesity for youth and adults in communities, medical care, schools, and workplaces
Discuss economic analysis of obesity prevention and control efforts (e.g., cost burden of obesity on healthcare system and employers, cost effectiveness of prevention)
Discuss the use of law-based efforts to prevent and control obesity (e.g., legislation, regulation and policies)
It’s encouraging to see the national dialogue starting to expand beyond just talking about the problem and, instead, looking for ways to impact the drivers of obesity at their source. Hopefully this will start to shine a spotlight on programs that are delivering proven results.
In my next post I’ll highlight an example of one of our customers that is seeing a measured reduction in health care costs following the implementation of corporate wellness incentive programs. It’s impressive to see that great things can happen when the key executives in a company support wellness from top to bottom in an organization.