In the state of Tennessee in which I live, obesity rates have ranked among the highest in the nation, spurring state and local efforts to encourage people to eat better and move more as we see the effects of obesity in every area of life.
Tennesseans with Obesity
30.8 percent of adults are obese.67 percent of adults are overweight.
15.8 percent of adolescents are obese.
16.1 percent of adolescents are overweight.
15.2 percent of children 2-5 years old are obese.
31 percent of Tennessee adults did not participate in any physical activity last month.
(source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The Nashville Region Health Competitiveness Report recently released by the Chamber of Commerce and FTI Consulting’s Center for Health Care Economics and Policy which serves as a major advance in our understanding of health as an economic issue has found that Nashville employers are losing more than $500 million a year in productivity because of diabetes, obesity and hypertension-all of which can be significantly impacted through prevention and management. Nationwide costs are $195 billion annually in ill health and lost worker productivity. This report suggests that employers have the opportunity to impact health as well as productivity by establishing a culture and a workplace where wellness initiatives are just as much about improving employee morale, teamwork and well-being as they are about bottom-line savings. These efforts can have a profound impact on an employee’s health and productivity. This also brings the benefit of improving the health of family members as an employee shifts behaviors that affect the whole family, from healthier eating to tracking steps.
Whether a business owner seeking a better work culture for employees or a teacher helping to educate children, a mother or father in the kitchen or on the playground, let’s be alert to what is happening worldwide and the toll obesity is taking on our populace, our health as well as our pocketbooks and let us work together to make a difference, for the good of us all. The desire of John the apostle expressed it this way. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” 3 John 2 (KJV)