Friday, March 6, 2009

Are you shooting grizzly bears with a slingshot?

David toppled Goliath with a slingshot. Were it only so easy as we tackle the issues of weight loss and wellness. But with a slingshot? Sometimes it seems that way. It’s a huge issue, and we’re tossing pebbles, trying to get attention. Take aim. Wellness is an abstract concept—for which there is a real need. But the definition presents another story.

We are all concerned, or should be, about the problems of overweight and obesity, the chronic health issues those conditions lead to, and the impact they have on each of us as individuals and in the workplace. (As an example, based on national statistics, if you’re an employer with 100 employees, you’re very likely spending around $5,800 a month on medical, prescription, and lost productivity costs due to conditions of overweight and obesity.) Still, even small changes make a big difference.

With its “fix-it mentality” society has largely ignored prevention and personal responsibility. But, now it’s time to move from “sick care” to “wellness care.” For too long too many of us have counted on the fact that if—and when—we get sick, “the doctor will fix it, insurance will pay for it.” Yet, in reality, we all pay for it. And in the truest sense of the word, reality, there is a finite amount above which we, and society, can no longer and are no longer willing to pay. We are reaching that point, and we are reaching it fast. There’s no turning back, wellness is no longer an option—it’s a business imperative.

If you don’t think so, why not? We’d really like to know.

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