Workplace Obesity Prevention Programs

Ron Z. Goetzel, Niranjana Kowlessar, Enid Chung Roemer, Xiaofei Pei, Maryam Tabrizi, Rivka C. Liss-Levinson, Daniel Samoly and Jessica Waddell

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Workplace Obesity Prevention Programs

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This chapter describes obesity-prevention programs in the workplace. Many employers have dropped health-insurance coverage for their workers. Employees' poor health imposes an extra cost burden on employers, who have a strong incentive for keeping their workers healthy and fit. Many more health-promotion interventions are possible in a closed system such as the workplace, where greater effect on behavior and the environment is possible. Leadership support becomes increasingly important as programs seek to modify the workplace environment and mobilize social influence factors. In general, the data indicate that within closed systems such as employer settings, where employers control program investments in health and tightly control intervention costs, workplace programs may not only be health beneficial, but also cost beneficial. Recommendations are offered to federal, state, and local policy makers as actions they can take to encourage increased adoption of evidence-based workplace health-promotion and obesity-management programs.

Keywords: obesity; workplace programs; employers; health insurance; employees

Article.  12935 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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