Obesity Program Trims Budgets

Nov. 7, 2008
Obsesity programs can see a short-term ROI of $1.17 per dollar spent

Companies that implement weight-loss programs for their employees could save more than $300,000 from reduced healthcare costs and productivity improvements, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study claims companies can gain a short-term return on investment of $1.17 per dollar spent by participating in an obesity management program called Healthyroads, which costs about $300 per employee, according to the report in the official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Researchers observed a group of 890 overweight or obese employees participating in Healthyroads who received coaching and other weight-loss support services, according to the study published in September. The participants' average age was 44, about 75% of whom were female, with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 30.6. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Within a year, the participants reduced seven of 10 health risk factors, including poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. The average weight loss was 10 pounds with a BMI decrease of 0.9. "Employers could potentially achieve bigger savings in healthcare costs and productivity if the observed risk changes persisted beyond the study period," notes the report's authors.

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About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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