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National Business Group on Health Says Employers Can Play Critical Role in Battling Childhood Obesity

August 27, 2011 Comments off

National Business Group on Health Says Employers Can Play Critical Role in Battling Childhood Obesity
Source: National Business Group on Health

With the prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States nearly tripling over the past 30 years, the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of large employers, believes now is the time for employers to take the lead in the battle against the growing problem of overweight and obese children.

Obesity is a growing epidemic affecting children, their families and the nation. The United States currently has the highest percent of overweight youth in its history. Today, more than one-third of children in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese, leading to increased health risks, higher health care costs and decreased parental productivity at work.

“Child obesity is impacting employers today and will into the future as these children become the workforce of tomorrow,” said Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, whose members include 329 large U.S. employers. “Parents have an enormous impact on the childhood obesity epidemic. A child under the age of 5 is at least three times more likely to become obese if one parent is obese. The chances skyrocket if both parents are obese. The good news is that employers can play a critical role in fighting the childhood obesity epidemic by helping families develop healthy lifestyles at work and in the home. In fact, a number of forward thinking companies are already leading the charge.”

Indeed, a recent survey of 83 of the nation’s largest companies conducted by the Business Group identifies the following programs employers have in place to help fight childhood obesity:

  • One-third of employers (33%) offer online weight management tools to children
  • More than one in four employers (28%) offer telephonic or online coaching for weight management to children

Beyond promoting healthy lifestyles in the home, the Business Group says employers will soon face a growing demand for obesity treatment in children.

+ Childhood Obesity: It’s Everyone’s Business

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