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The Texas Story


“Today companies are integrating their wellness programs into their corporate programs more—not just offering them as sideline programs—and executives are much more supportive. In addition, companies are branding their programs with their own brand as a way to promote themselves to employees and future recruits.”

LuAnn Heinen, Director, National Business Group on Health, Institute on the Costs and Effects of Obesity (2007)

Texas Adults

  • 27.0 percent of adult Texans are obese. 37.1 percent are overweight. Only 35.9 percent of adult Texans are of a normal weight.
  • The prevalence of obesity and overweight in adult Texans rose 49.4 percent from 1990 to 2005.
  • Texas is 10th in the nation in the percentage of its adult population that is overweight or obese.
  • From 1990 to 2005, the percentage of the obese adult population alone increased 119.5 percent in Texas.
  • 37.4 percent of adult Texans residing in the lower south Texas region are obese; the highest prevalence of any region in the state.
  • 66.4 percent of adults in San Antonio are either overweight or obese, the highest prevalence of any city in the state.

Texas Children and Public Schools

  • 42 percent of Texas fourth graders, 39 percent of Texas eighth graders and 36 percent of Texas eleventh graders are overweight or at-risk-of overweight.
  • 70 percent of overweight children will become overweight or obese adults.
  • Healthy lifestyle choices must be developed at an early age.
  • Fostering healthy lifestyles is easier than breaking unhealthy practices later in life.
  • Unhealthy foods with minimal nutritional value have been removed from almost all cafeterias and many district vending machines as well.
  • Pending legislation could increase physical activity for children.

Texas Businesses

  • By 2025, if current trends continue, 46.8 percent of adult Texans will be obese and only 14.4 percent will be normal weight.
  • Texas businesses fund the majority of private insurance, and thus pay a disproportionate share of the costs of obesity.
  • Obesity costs employers in terms of higher health care expenses, absenteeism, lost productivity and disability—and all of these costs are avoidable.
  • Obesity increases health care costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.
  • Texas employment-based insurance premiums rose by 29.3 percent from 2001-2004.
  • Obesity cost Texas businesses $3.3 billion in 2005.
  • If health care costs and current obesity trends continue, obesity could cost Texas businesses $15.8 billion annually by 2025.

Texas Workplaces

  • Companies that invest in wellness and disease management programs experience savings within 3-5 years.
  • Studies conclude that each dollar spent on wellness programs generates an average savings of $3.48 on health care expenses and an additional $5.82 in reduced absenteeism costs.
  • Studies show each dollar spent on disease management programs generates between $1.40 and $13.00 in savings.
  • USAA has slashed workplace absences and saved more than $105 million over three years in health care costs.
  • General Motors experiences a $2 to $3 return on their investment in a health promotion program and saves $42 per participant per year in health care costs.
  • H-E-B reduced its growing health care costs from 27 percent annual increases down to just 2.7 percent.
  • Dell experienced reduced inpatient admission costs due to their wellness program.
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