Washington (PRWEB) June 22, 2005
As many corporations seek to Âtrim the fatÂ to create a healthier bottom line, many of those who have done so literally are being recognized for their innovative efforts to battle obesity and promote a healthy work environment.
The National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit organization, today announced the winners of its inaugural ÂBest Employers for Healthy LifestylesÂ awards. The awards were presented at the Obesity Leadership Summit sponsored by the Business GroupÂs Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity
ÂWe are very pleased to honor 22 U.S. employers that have achieved these high standards and successfully implemented lifestyle improvement programs designed to reduce obesity and encourage healthier living for their employees,Â said Helen Darling, President of the Business Group. ÂTheir leaders are visionary and know how critical it is that large employers support their employeesÂ efforts to choose healthier lifestyles.Â
Launched in 2003, the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity created the ÂBest Employers for Healthy LifestylesÂ awards as a way to honor employers who recognize the urgent need to improve their workersÂ health, productivity and quality of life. The InstituteÂs underlying goal is for the awards program to serve as a catalyst to encourage all employers to take action. Among the employers honored included those who use marketing approaches and offer incentives to increase employee participation, and improve the work environment by designing walking routes and changing cafeterias and vending machines to promote healthy foods.
ÂObesity is a critical driver of health care costs in America,Â said LuAnn Heinen, director of the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. ÂAn overweight and obese workforce costs U.S. employers more than $13 billion annually. We are delighted to recognize these organizations that are taking an active role in combating this problem.Â
Winners of the ÂBest Employers for Healthy LifestyleÂ awards were honored in one of three categories: Platinum, for established programs with measurable outcomes; Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who have made a commitment to long-term behavior changes; and Silver, for those employers who have launched significant programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle.
The winners in each category include:
Baptist Health South Florida, Florida Power & Light, IBM, Occidental Oil and Gas, Pitney Bowes, Texas Instruments, Union Pacific Railroad
Aetna, Bank of America, Dell, GE Energy, GE Transportation, Mayo Clinic, PacifiCare, PepsiCo, Raytheon, Unum Provident
Erie Insurance Group, Novartis Pharmaceutical, Quebecor World, Quest Diagnostics, Target
ÂItÂs important to celebrate our achievements, but long-term, itÂs imperative that other employers take note of what these forward-thinking organizations are doing to fight this epidemic, and to start their own programs,Â said Darling. ÂThese awards have tremendous potential to get the American worker moving again. To be competitive in the global economy and retain our high standard of living, we have to dramatically change the health and weight profiles of American workers and their families.Â
A complete list of the winners and a brief description of their programs is available at http://www.businessgrouphealth.org.
About the National Business Group on Health
The National Business Group on Health, representing 240 members, mostly large employers, is the nationÂs only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to large employersÂ most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members, primarily Fortune 500 and large public sector employers, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families.
# # #
This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.