​Addressing obesity through health plan designs

Employees with this chronic condition spend more on health services and medication, so it just makes fiscal sense for employers to address the issue
By Sarah Beech
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/20/2017
Weigh Scale
Credit: ayzek (Shutterstock)

Ingrained in our society, obesity is one of the most prevalent and misunderstood conditions. In fact, many people may not know obesity is actually a chronic medical disease requiring ongoing management and care.

About one in four Canadians are living with obesity, with a number of underlying factors — socioeconomic status, ethnicity, immigration, physical activity, diet and environmental reasons, according to the Canadian Obesity Network, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Placing blame on an individual living with obesity is often unfounded, and ineffective weight bias can create more stress, leading to increased blood pressure, lower self-esteem and unhealthy weight control practices, according to the 2012 study Fighting Obesity or Obese Persons? by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.