Since 1995, the American Public Health Association has designated the first full week of April as National Public Health Week, a time to appreciate the issues that impact our overall well-being as a nation.
This year’s theme is “Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money,” and AICR applauds its focus on prevention as a key strategy to make diseases like cancer more rare, and less costly — whether those costs are measured in dollars or in human lives.
The National Institutes of Health has crunched the numbers, based on 2008 data. How much does cancer cost the nation financially each year?
Total cost: $201.5 billion
Direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures): $77.4 billion
Indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death): $124 billion
Losing weight and keeping it off is challenging under any circumstances, but combine that with a sedentary job, vending machine food, and office treats and weight loss can seem like an impossible task.
If workplaces could instead help people lose weight, businesses could save a lot of money – from less illness and lower healthcare costs. And if more Americans were at a healthy weight, as many as 116,000 cases of cancer could be prevented every year.
Now, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests how workplaces can help. This preliminary randomized control trial tested whether educating employees about healthy eating, combined with a supportive workplace environment, could help overweight and obese employees lose weight.
For the intervention group, 84 participants at two work sites completed a six month weight loss program and of those, 40 continued with six months more for maintenance. These employees lost on average, 17.5 pounds during the six-month intervention. During the following six-months, they kept the weight off. They also showed improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Continue reading
Have you ever been in the midst of an experience where you could feel your eyes opening to see a wider vision?
I just got back from Chicago, where I was speaking at the American Society on Aging’s annual conference, Aging in America. While there, with thousands of professionals working in diverse fields, I saw a bigger picture of how the growing number of older adults will impact us all.
Each day, more than 10,000 American baby boomers are turning 65. By the year 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older. The conference gave me new vision on how wide the impact of this will be. Demand will grow for appropriate housing to suit varied needs of older adults, recreational programs as more retired people have time to pursue both new and long-time hobbies, and both preventive and therapeutic health care. Continue reading