Are Employers Getting Pushy About Weight Loss?

Is the workplace the right place to fight the battle of the bulge?  With wellness programs on the rise, obesity among employees has been one of the most targeted health issues.

There seems to be a new study every week about the types of wellness initiatives that are being used, the effectiveness of the different initiatives, and the high cost of wellness programs.  And each study seems to generate different data.  brown bag lunch

Despite the conflicting data, one common thread among many programs is the attempt to target obesity as a health risk.  A study by the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent Obesity (STOP) Alliance reports that 80 percent of employees, regardless of weight, believe that weight-management programs belong in the workplace.  71 percent reported that weight-management issues are appropriately addressed in the workplace. 

A recent article in BusinessWeek entitled “Hide the Doritos! Here comes HR” identified some well-known organizations that have declared war on calorie over-consumption.  According to the piece, companies such as Google, Yamaha, and Caterpillar have taken a first step by removing the junk food from all company kitchens and vending machines. 

[Source:  Human Resource Executive Online]

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