Shedding weight of workplace health risksVariety of weight-loss options support employee behaviour, help drive costs downBy Sue Brown12/19/2011|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/20/2011 Canadians are tipping the scales — 62 per cent of the working population is overweight or obese, according to Statistics Canada. Obesity is connected to several health risk factors and can increase the risk of a number of chronic conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancers. There’s also the stigma associated with it, and reduced psychological well-being.For employers, employee health is a significant concern. Employees with more than one health risk (overweight being just one of several risk factors) are absent much more frequently and are more costly in terms of short- and long-term disability, health benefits, engagement, productivity and presenteeism. Modifiable health-risk factors — such as exercise and eating habits, stress management practices, body weight, sleep habits, alcohol and tobacco intake — contribute considerably to an employee’s health status. Given this tremendous impact, employee health risks should be managed in the workplace just as an employer might manage any other business risk. To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.