New CDC Site Helps Employers Address Obesity

LEANWorks! is the name of the Web site, which CDC created in response to organizations’ request for help with this problem.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled a new Web site on Thursday named LEANWorks! Announced at a National Business Group on Health meeting in Washington, D.C., the site will help businesses -– particularly small and mid-sized ones -– address the obesity problem among employees.

The site "was developed in direct response to organizations asking CDC for help in addressing the obesity epidemic. Specifically they wanted to know what interventions were effective in helping employees maintain a healthy weight," said William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. "CDC has identified science-based interventions that work to prevent and control obesity. CDC LEANWorks! provides the tools that employers need to take action."

The site can help employers calculate the cost of obesity for their organizations and develop approaches to control these costs through fitness classes, lunchtime health education sessions, weight management programs, and other initiatives. CDC says obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease; in addition, obese people spend 77 percent more money for essential medications than non-obese people. "Obesity affects more than just health care costs. It also has a significant impact on worker productivity because the more chronic diseases employees have, the more likely they are to be absent from work, or less productive if they come to work sick," said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

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