As the American diet has gotten more convenient, it has also gotten less healthy. The fast food, prepared food and easy-to-grab snacks that make up many of our meals have contributed to an obesity crisis and to the rise of chronic illnesses like diabetes.
This is the first in a continuing blog series based on insights and findings from the Sodexo 2016 Workplace Trends Report. The Report examines nine key trends impacting business outcomes and affecting the quality of life of employees and consumers in the workplace. To learn more, access the full article Population Health Management: A New Business Model for a Healthier Workforce.
The prevalence of chronic disease continues to grow in staggering numbers across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of 2012, about half of all adults (or 117 million people) have one or more chronic health conditions and 25 percent have two or more chronic health conditions. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently noted that 48 percent of all health care spending in 2006 was for the 50 percent of the population who have one or more chronic medical conditions. Similarly, the American Heart Association estimates the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity.
Given employees’ busy and demanding lives, sleep is a necessity—but its importance is all too often overlooked. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Yet, it is estimated that around 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep. According to a 2008 National Sleep Foundation poll, almost a third of American employees report that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month. In fact, sleep loss affects so many adults that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
A systems-based approach to improving health considers all factors involved in caring for patients and the many factors that influence one’s quality of life. The integration of people, processes, policies, and organizations is critical to promoting better health at lower cost. For example, we can close the clinic-to-community gap by using an integrated systems approach that connects employers, healthcare providers, community-based organizations and family/community relationships.
Today, I had the privilege of participating in the 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit hosted by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The summit offers a unique opportunity for public, private and non-profit leaders to come together to address one of the single biggest issues facing our children, our families, our communities and the future of our country – childhood obesity.