cardio workplace wellness

Cardio Health Address Through Workplace Wellness Focus on Obesity

As we noted yesterday, American Heart Month has ended. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop focusing on ways a well-run workplace wellness program can help employees manage cardio health — and help businesses reduce health costs.

And a recent New York Times post emphasizes why it’s important to continue conversation — and even increase engagement techniques — with people who may face obesity:

“A subtle form of peer pressure has convinced many, consciously or otherwise, that it’s acceptable to be significantly heavier than the ‘normal’ weight ranges listed on a body mass index (B.M.I.) or doctor’s height-weight chart.” The post continues: “Public health experts fear that this trend toward “fat acceptance” bodes ill for future well-being and the soaring costs of chronic weight-related ailments like heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and more than a dozen kinds of cancer.”

Cardio Health: Obesity Matters

Indeed, an article published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raised similar concerns. It’s titled “Change in Percentages of Adults With Overweight or Obesity Trying to Lose Weight, 1988-2014.”

The report begins: “Socially acceptable body weight is increasing.1 If more individuals who are overweight or obese are satisfied with their weight, fewer might be motivated to lose unhealthy weight. This study assessed the trend in the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese and trying to lose weight during 3 periods from 1988 through 2014.”

The authors’ conclusions highlight the challenge that well-run workplace wellness programs face and the extent to which continuing to find new ways to engage employees — to help them start and maintain focus on weight issues — matters:

“Weight gain has continued among US adults, yet in this study, fewer adults reported trying to lose weight.”

“This observation may be due to body weight misperception reducing motivation to engage in weight loss efforts or primary care clinicians not discussing weight issues with patients.”

“The chronicity of obesity may also contribute. The longer adults live with obesity, the less they may be willing to attempt weight loss, in particular if they had attempted weight loss multiple times without success.”