Obesity rates in America have risen steadily over the past 20 years, with an estimated 42% of the population affected in 2021 according to the CDC. Obesity is heavily associated with leading conditions of preventable deaths, which include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
From an employers’ point of view, obesity can be associated with higher healthcare spending, greater employee absenteeism, and overall poorer performance.
While tackling the obesity problem in America is not an overnight fix, there are steps employers can take to promote employee well-being. The Healthy Weight Initiative seeks to provide information and support for employers to encourage employees to adopt healthy practices to promote their own wellbeing, as well as a healthy, productive workplace.
In order to understand how employers can best integrate Healthy Weight Initiative practices in the workplace, it’s important to understand the levels of prevention in healthcare.