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Metabolic & cardiovascular risks are the biggest risk factors influencing medical costs

↑ rates of obesity = ↑ medical spending

In addition to affecting direct medical costs, obesity influences disability costs, workman’s compensation claims, absenteeism, presenteeism, productivity, and safety 

Why aren’t current workplace wellness programs improving obesity rates?  

Because obesity isn’t a wellness problem


Obesity must be treated like other diseases – under the umbrella of medicine

Disease management programs are designed to improve the health of persons with specific chronic conditions and to reduce health care service use and costs associated with avoidable complications, such as emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

* Although well-intentioned, traditional workplace wellness programs based on behavioral therapy models have done little to improve the financial burden that obesity and chronic disease place on employers.  Because of the way they are structured, individuals that need the most help often avoid engaging in these programs.  A robust disease management program based on medical science is needed to address the increasing financial burden of chronic disease.

WellMi provides evidence-based interventions designed to improve the health and weight of individuals, thereby reducing direct and indirect costs to the organization

A disease in its own right, obesity is highly correlated with other chronic lifestyle diseases.  Obesity currently affects 42% of American adults and approximately 80% of people with obesity also have one or more other lifestyle diseases, such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or high blood pressure.  Obesity is one of the most easily measured chronic lifestyle diseases and arguably, one of the most costly.

Average Yearly Cost for Healthcare Per Employee

The average cost of healthcare for employers with > 500 employees in the US is $14,393/person/year

Employers spend 34%-200% more per year covering employees w/ obesity

Assuming the bare minimum (34%)

W/out obesity:  $12,022/year

Obesity: $16,105/year

Variance: $4,083

What does the bare minimum look like?

9,000 employees = approx 15,000 covered lives ≥ age 18

8700 employees without obesity x $12,022/year = $104,591,400

6300 people with obesity x $16,105/year = $101,461,500

Total spend: $206,052,900

If you achieved disease regression in 10% of the people currently with obesity:

9330 employees w/out obesity x $12,022/year = $112,165,260

5670 with obesity x $16,105/year = $91,315,350

Total spend: $203,480,610

Savings of $2,572,290/year

If you achieved disease regression in 15% of the people currently with obesity: 

9665 employees w/out obesity x $12,022/year = $116,192,630

5335 with obesity x $16,105/year = $85,920,175

Total spend: $202,112,805

Savings of $3,940,095/year

Want to dig in a little deeper?

Type 2 Diabetes is the most expensive chronic condition in our nation.  The relationship between obesity and diabetes is of such interdependence that the term ‘diabesity’ has been coined.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 26% of direct medical costs related to obesity

  • Currently, just over 10% of people have T2DM and another 33% have prediabetes (many of these are undiagnosed!)
  • Within 10 years, without intervention, almost all people with prediabetes will develop diabetes


Prevalence of Type II Diabetes today (look at how many individuals in the workforce are affected (or are going to be)!

  • Studies show that lifestyle change programs can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50% for people at high risk
  • The largest components of medical expenditures are hospital inpatient care (43% of the total medical cost), prescription medications to treat the complications of diabetes (18%), antidiabetic agents and diabetes supplies (12%), physician office visits (9%), and nursing/residential facility stays (8%)

Treating Type 2 Diabetes saves money

Do you know how much obesity and chronic disease are costing your company?
Investing in obesity treatment is a necessary first step in decreasing direct and indirect costs incurred by employers and employees alike.

Click below to download a copy of our white paper and dive deep into the data supporting what we do: