National Business Group on Health Names Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles

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22 Employers Receive Inaugural Awards for Combating Obesity, Promoting Healthy Workplaces

As many corporations seek to “trim the fat” 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 “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” awards. The awards were presented at the Obesity Leadership Summit sponsored by the Business Group’s Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity

“We 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,” said Helen Darling, President of the Business Group. “Their leaders are visionary and know how critical it is that large employers support their employees’ efforts to choose healthier lifestyles.”

Launched in 2003, the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity created the “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” awards as a way to honor employers who recognize the urgent need to improve their workers’ health, productivity and quality of life. The Institute’s 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.

“Obesity is a critical driver of health care costs in America,” said LuAnn Heinen, director of the Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity. “An 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.”

Winners of the “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyle” 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:

Platinum Award:

Baptist Health South Florida, Florida Power & Light, IBM, Occidental Oil and Gas, Pitney Bowes, Texas Instruments, Union Pacific Railroad

Gold Award:

Aetna, Bank of America, Dell, GE Energy, GE Transportation, Mayo Clinic, PacifiCare, PepsiCo, Raytheon, Unum Provident

Silver Award:

Erie Insurance Group, Novartis Pharmaceutical, Quebecor World, Quest Diagnostics, Target

“It’s important to celebrate our achievements, but long-term, it’s imperative that other employers take note of what these forward-thinking organizations are doing to fight this epidemic, and to start their own programs,” said Darling. “These 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.”

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 nation’s only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to large employers’ 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.

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This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Ed Emerman
Eagle Public Relations
609-452-5967
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