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Ed Yeates ReportingHave any idea how much obesity cost us in Utah last year? Would you believe $390 million? That's how much the State Health Department says consumers paid for all related expenses to deal with the problem.
Many employers are now dishing out big incentives, encouraging all of us to lose a few pounds to bring their costs and our costs down.
BD Medical in Sandy was one of eighteen companies singled out today by State Health to receive its Gold Plus Award. Why? Three hundred employees in this company lost weight, totaling nearly 2,000 pounds. All of them are following the company's healthier lifestyle program.
To name a few, Lindsay Johnson lost 12 pounds.
Lindsay Johnson, BD Medical: "I didn't feel good about myself. And I didn't even notice I was losing any weight until I went to buy new clothes, and then I thought, ‘Wow.’"
Linda Schow lost almost 60 pounds.
Linda Schow, BD Medical Employee: "We had classes every week, weighed in every week and they just constantly made you feel good even if you went up a little bit."
Charlie Williams didn't know he was on the verge of diabetes until this company's program, which included on site testing, identified it early. And he wasn't the only one.
Cal Alexander, VP Operations, BD Medical: "We found forty individuals who were either in the early stages of diabetes or with full blown diabetes."
Charlie and his family now eat differently.
Charlie Williams, BD Medical Employee: "We don't eat big meals like we use to."
Healthwise and moneywise, this program is paying off. In fact this room itself, all of the equipment, the adjoining shower room - everything was paid for by the savings in health care insurance rates. That money from a one year only savings.
LaDonne Loveday, Manager, BD Medical Healthsystems: "We saved $165,000 from the people who did one of those programs."
In all, 36 companies received special recognition today from the state's healthier worksites program. And the list is growing.