23 Dec My how the times have changed…
American Mindset Changing Towards Obesity Crisis
This advertisement from the 1950’s recently caught my eye at an antique store. How foreign it is to see jolly old Saint Nick holding a carton of cigarettes with a caption suggesting cigarettes and tobacco make for the perfect Christmas gift.
I love the faces of people under 40 years old when they listen to people talk about the “smoking section” on airplanes or the days when nearly half of the adult population regularly used tobacco products. Our society has come a long way in educating the population and deglamorizing the allure of lighting up a cigarette. It wasn’t an easy transition but smoke-free workplaces, public spaces, and policies have become the norm.
Just like tobacco cessation, the obesity crisis in America – which now predicts that one in three of our children will be diabetic before they are 25 years old – will require a similar movement before we see sustainable change. Much progress has been made in our schools and communities, but there is still a long way to go.
With the average working American adult spending more time at their workplace than they do anywhere else, it’s critical that employers do their part in making the healthy choice the easy choice, by promoting good nutrition and inspiring all types of physical activity. Bravo to the employers who also align financial incentives to those who take personal accountability for their health and make meaningful progress in the right direction.
Consider this year’s Towers-Watson/National Business Group on Health Survey which reports an
astounding increase in the percentage of employers planning to tie a reward or penalty to the
achievement of health outcomes other than tobacco.
This unprecedented increase reflects more than a change in the ACA regulations. This increase also reflects a change in the mindset of America as more and more people understand that such program designs are not simply about employers saving money. The “tough love” messages over the past several decades have led to a reaction of surprise and amusement when people see an ad with Santa promoting tobacco products.
Similarly, the broader thinking of Americans is beginning to reflect and accept the need for healthy food and exercise to become what’s promoted and celebrated. As we all move towards this direction, millions of lives can be saved and countless health concerns – from diabetes and cancer, to sleep apnea and heart disease – can be avoided.
Thank you for your trust and commitment to pioneering one piece of the movement needed to improve the health of our nation and for letting Bravo Wellness be your partner in rewarding results. God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.