August 10, 2011
As our nation’s leaders continue to search for ways to address our financial woes, there are community leaders across the country working to address another looming problem area for Americans: obesity.
Two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for more than 20 major diseases, including chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Because most chronic diseases are highly preventable and frequently manageable it cannot be denied that there is a lot Americans can do to improve their own individual health and ultimately, the overall health of our country. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that eliminating three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity, and smoking – would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke; 80% of type 2 diabetes; and, 40% of cancer.
A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011, has found that adult obesity rates rose in sixteen states over the last year and have doubled or nearly doubled in seventeen states since 1995. There was not a decline in any state within that same time period and only one state, Colorado, has an obesity rate below 20 percent.
Congress is taking note of the need for workplace wellness, and elected officials are increasingly committed to making sure that the companies in their districts, for which their constituents are working, are including health and wellness programs in their overall corporate strategies.
Arguably well ahead of its time, Johnson & Johnson introduced their employee wellness program “Live for Life” in 1979. For more than 30 years, Johnson & Johnson has been working hard to make healthy lifestyle choices a top priority throughout their corporate community and it’s paying off, literally.
Earlier this year Mercer’s US Health and benefits Perspectives published a motivating examination of “Managing disability absences in the era of health care reform.” According to Mercer’s research, employers spend nearly 23% of their payrolls on employee health and absence.
In recognition of Asthma Awareness Month, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease supports the efforts of all of its members and the health community worldwide in pursuit of better treatments and cures for asthma. The World Health Organization (WHO) attributed 4.2 million deaths due to asthma in 2008.
(April 29, 2011) This week , the World Health Organization released their first Global Status Report on Non-Communicable Diseases, highlighting the global prevalence and impact of chronic conditions. In 2008 there were 57 million deaths worldwide, 36 million of these deaths were attributed to chronic disease. According to the WHO report, most NCDs are commonly associated with four particular (and preventable) behaviors: physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol.