We are quickly approaching the fourth anniversary of the start of Covid-19 Pandemic (wow...). As we approach this date, a staggering new study was just released. Americans' health is plummeting. In this newsletter we are looking into why, what we can do as employers and how this affects our organizations.
PHYSICAL HEALTH PLUMMETS IN U.S
"Key physical health metrics have notably worsened since before the COVID-19 pandemic, including obesity, diabetes and eating habits. The percentage of U.S. adults whom Gallup classifies as obese has reached an estimated 38.4%, up 6.0 percentage points since 2019 and just shy of the record high of 39.9% measured in 2022. A new high of 13.6% of respondents say they have been diagnosed by a medical professional with diabetes, up 1.1 points since 2019. The most recent results, obtained Aug. 30-Sept. 8, 2023, are based on 5,316 U.S. adults surveyed by web as part of the Gallup Panel, a probability-based panel of about 100,000 adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Unlike some government estimates of obesity, Gallup uses respondents' self-reported height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) and subsequent weight classes. It does not involve randomized clinical measurements that typically result in higher obesity estimates. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Additionally, Gallup does not discern between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes but rather asks: "Has a doctor or nurse ever told you that you have diabetes?"Learn more
YOUR WORKFORCE'S HEALTH IS DECLINING
"The health of Americans is declining after the pandemic, according to a recent survey from Gallup. While that's probably not surprising, it is concerning. The percentage of adults who are obese is 38.4%, up six percentage points since 2019.
Viewing the statistics from an age perspective, ages 45-64 saw an increase of 8.2 points, while ages 30-44 were up 6.1 points. Under age 30 didn't see a significant increase. Delving into the cause of the increase the report says it "may be associated with modified health behaviors resulting from the pandemic. While exercise rates have managed to remain intact, eating habits nationally have eroded substantially since 2019." Learn more
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS
"Employers can devise their benefits programs to do more to address risk factors leading to cardiovascular disease, particularly for women, who are often undiagnosed and undertreated for heart disease, the Northeast Business Group on Health said in an employer guide released in November.