Obesity And The Workplace: Current Programs and Attitudes Among Employers And Employees

Employee and Employer Survey (2009)

February 2, 2009

by Jon R. Gabel, Heidi Whitmore, Jeremy Pickreign, Christine C. Ferguson, Anjali Jain, Shova KC, and Hilary Scherer

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ABSTRACT: This paper presents findings about weight management programs at the workplace, and employers’ and employees’ views about these programs. Data are from a survey of 505 randomly selected public and private employers with fifty or more employees, and a survey of 1,352 households with employer-based insurance. The majority of employers with 5,000 or more workers offer programs such as on-site exercise facilities, nutritional counseling, and health risk appraisals, whereas sizable minorities of smaller employers offer them. Employers and employees view weight management programs as appropriate and effective. Employers want programs to pay for themselves, whereas employees are willing to pay higher premiums for them. [Health Affairs 28, no. 1 (2009): 46–56; 10.1377/hlthaff .28.1.46]