Wellness Programs Can Help Solve Obesity Epidemic

08/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Mark Pasetsky PR & Content Strategist of Mark Allen & Co. - Former Editor of OK! and Life & Style

With the release of the obesity study published in the journal Health Affairs, it's clearly time for corporate America to take responsibility and make wellness programs mandatory!

Before I share with you the benefits of wellness programs, let's take a look at the shocking findings from the study as reported by the New York Times:

  • Obese Americans spend about 42 percent more on health care than other Americans
  • Medical spending on obesity-related conditions is estimated to have reached147 billion a year in 2008. That figure represents almost 10 percent of all medical spending.
  • Obese Americans spend about $1,429 more on health care each year than the roughly $3,400 spent by other Americans

Benefits of wellness programs

Wellness programs not only help improve the health of employees by motivating them to take care of themselves, but they also reduce these alarming health care costs associated with obesity as well as improve your bottom line.

CLICK HERE for more data on cost-savings of wellness programs.

How do you create a wellness program?

It's really simple. You establish "wellness goals," e.g. target weights, quitting smoking, reducing blood pressure or lowering cholesterol.

You can also include preventative check-ups as one of the goals. It's not just obesity that wellness programs can help prevent. There are a wide array of diseases that can be prevented with early detection.

Once your employees reach their goal, they receive points. And with these points, they can select from a variety of products and services to celebrate achieving their goals.

What results can you expect from your wellness program?

Reduced absenteeism, increased employee loyalty and a major decrease in health insurance costs are just some of the many benefits.

Bottom line: The time is now to begin a wellness program. It will improve the health of your employees -- and your company's bottom line!

Visit for more information on wellness programs.

Mark Pasetsky is the editorial director for, a web site focused on reporting news about the incentive marketing industry, as well as editorial director for