Obesity is an epidemic, impacting more than 4 out of 10 American adults nationwide. It is the greatest contributor to the burden of chronic diseases in the U.S., accounting for 47% of the total cost of chronic disease nationwide. Obesity affects more than 31% of full-time employees and another 37% in the workforce are overweight. If this trend continues, 51% of the U.S. population will have obesity by 2030. As a risk factor, employees with obesity are disproportionately represented among high-cost claimants largely due to health care costs associated with managing multiple comorbidities. These conditions can lead to a significant economic burden for employers over time.
The Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) has partnered with five sister coalitions (see below) to offer employer-vetted resources on Tackling Obesity in the Workplace: Understanding the Challenges & Opportunities. This employer toolkit provides knowledge and insight to support employees and members on their weight loss journey and includes the latest information on the business case, economics of obesity, employer strategies, benefit plan offerings, and tools, resources and videos, including:
- Employer Action Brief – Quick read outlining the business case, toolkit overview and how to work effectively with health care partners – e.g., health plans, vendors.
- Employee/Member Action Brief – Extending the message to your employees and their families for use on the company’s intranet, health benefits/wellbeing portal, newsletter links, printed and placed in high traffic areas, etc.
- Employer Video – Brief overview of the environment, understanding that obesity is a complex chronic disease and outlining strategies to support employees and families.
- Employee/Member Video – Brief supportive messaging to help employees understanding the challenges of being overweight/having obesity and how to use company programs and benefits to support their weight loss journey.
- Employer Action Steps – Guidance on assessing your population needs, using your data, strategic planning and benefit design, implementation, working with vendors and using anti-obesity medications.
- Excess Weight Tool – This no-cost tool was created with input from experts at Duke University. The tool helps employers understand where and how much obesity may be costing them.
MBGH is responsible for all content which are intended to be used for educational purposes only.
Participating Employer Coalitions collaborating with MBGH – www.mbgh.org