The #1 threat to Florida’s health, according to the Florida Department of Health, is the growing percent of our population who are at an unhealthy weight.  Carrying excess weight is related to increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and to preventable disability and premature death. 

WHY IT MATTERS

Excess weight takes a toll on the health of adults and youths in our community. People who are overweight or obese are more likely than healthy weight adults to develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Stroke

Having a high BMI is associated with chronic disease and early death.  Obesity is costly.  Obese adults spend 42% more on their healthcare than adults who are at a healthy weight1 If you are overweight, you can expect to take more sick leave, more doctor visits and higher medical expenses.

 

Obese employees cost employers more money than healthy weight employees.  It is estimated that between 7% and 13% of all sick days taken are for issues related to obesity.  An obese employee costs an employer an extra $500 per year just in lost productivity.  This does not include costs associated with increased health care costs and higher premiums.

 

A 2008 study found that investing just $10 per person in proven community-based programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce tobacco use could return over $5 for each $1 invested.2