Health Promotion Planning: Wellness Plans and Obesity
One of the most prevalent health care issues in the United States is the rising rate of obesity. It is the most common, most expensive and least addressed disease among the workforce today.
Obesity and tobacco use are the source of almost every preventable illness targeted by wellness plans and single-handedly cost employers most of their health care dollars.
Health Promotion Planning: Are Wellness Plans Enough to Combat Obesity?
Addressing obesity during health promotion planning is much more complicated than including weight loss incentives in corporate wellness plans.
Obesity is a disease that has extensive roots in the media, at the supermarket, around our technology and is firmly imbedded in our American culture of excess.
We have a host of industries that have a parasitic existence built upon the tragedy of obesity: diet pills, miracle diet plans, special clothing, extra charges for seats on public transit and a plethora of other questionable marketing strategies that focus on heavily overweight people.
It is a complex issue that is maintained at every turn by our entire society. Can corporate wellness plans appeal to the Food and Beverage industry for corroboration?
Health Promotion Planning: How do People Become Obese?
For such a complex problem, obesity has a fundamental simplicity: for every calorie consumed, there should be a corresponding output of energy to burn it. If the solution is as easy as this, why is obesity such a pervasive problem? Some of the problem lies in the kind of food consumed.
Prepared and packaged foods are a relatively new addition in North American society during the last five decades. Simultaneously, the growth of information technology exploded exponentially. Higher fat and carbohydrate foods combined with the reduced physical activity to produce an average weight gain in North Americans of disproportionate size.
Health Promotion Planning: Wellness Plans and Consumer Options
Health promotion planning to reduce obesity should include the consumer food and beverage industry. Wellness plans should ensure that healthier choices that are easily identified and readily available as better choices of vending machine fare and as workplace cafeteria options.
All consumers do not have the knowledge necessary to make good food selections or the motivation to change their current eating habits. A more parochial role initiated by the food and beverage industry and education facilitated by corporate wellness plans should focus on consumer direction and the marketing and sale of health promotion products.
Health Promotion Planning: Education and Obesity
How many employees know what the difference is between mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated, saturated or trans fats? Does the employee population understand how to read a nutrition label and how to apply that information to their grocery list?
Can this step be broken down to include low-cost but healthy alternatives if organic food is beyond the allowable portion of the pay check that can be spent on food? Are people willing to switch from their present style of consumption?
Will an average American by-pass the vending machine full of soda and make a selection from a range of bottled waters and juices? Would a teenager?
Reducing the prevalence of this disease will take a cross-cultural collective effort of health promotion planning between all levels of North American consumerism and corporate marketing to make obesity an unnecessary part of the American lifestyle.
Writer Bio: John Bates is a leading wellness industry consultant and prolific writer about all aspects of health and wellness programs. His work can be found on numerous wellness websites including his own: Infinite Wellness Solution’s and Infinite Health Coach.