“Seriously Impressive” Corporate Wellness Programs…


Yet all are missing the boat when it comes to the food.

I came across a blog this week featuring some of the best corporate wellness programs. With the likes of IBM, Aetna and MD Anderson on the list, I have no doubt that their so called “healthy eating” components of their plan are coming up way short of truly promoting health.

All of these big companies are no doubt basing their eating programs on the USDA Guidelines, featuring “a balanced diet with daily intake from all the food groups, including lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy.” All of these companies will continue to tell their people that yogurt, cheese, milk, chicken and fish are health foods—and they will continue to get modest results as their overall cost of healthcare per employee keeps going up.

They simply don’t get it and won’t get it until the overall “system” changes. But we can be the catalyst that forces that change. Our clients will see significant drops in the cost of healthcare, and their competitors will be calling us for help.

Introducing a health and wellness program into a corporate setting comes bundled with two major benefits. The first, of course, revolves around preventing employees from succumbing to dangerous conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes as much as possible.

Secondly, because of this lowered chance of chronic — if not terminal — illness, this means saving money on health insurance costs.

And while the twelve well-intentioned companies are probably doing a better than average job at corporate wellness—they are missing the boat big-time when it comes to what is possible. I know of only one corporate CEO in the country who is moving in that direction—John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market.

He is teaching his 60,000 people how to take charge of their health by shifting to a diet of whole, plant-based foods. And he’s making it attractive for them to do so.

But, as for the dozen companies featured in the article, they’re probably achieving less than 20% of their potential wellness improvement. My estimate is that a shift to a whole foods, plant-based diet will yield ten times as much health (and cost reduction) benefit as all of the other wellness initiatives combined. But it will take some serious executive leadership to capture those benefits.

So who are those 12 companies? IBM, Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority, Aetna, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Yale-New Haven Hospital, American Specialty Health, Virgin, Google, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Mayo Clinic, and Hewlett-Packard.

The Bottom Line. All of the thousands of corporate wellness programs out there are doing good things—and many of them are talking about “healthy eating.” The problem is that they don’t know what that means. Meanwhile, the average cost per employee in corporate America continues to escalate—at about the same rate as the average increase in overall healthcare spending increases each year.

None of these efforts will yield meaningful results until we fix the food. And we are prepared to do just that.

Our 4Leaf for Life program is ready for deployment at large companies and institutions all over the country. For a better understanding of what is possible, take these three steps:

  1. Read this blog post. Slashing the cost of health care in businesses
  2. Then read this one. Are corporate wellness programs working?
  3. Then give me a call to discuss: J. Morris (Jim) Hicks at 917-399-9700.

(This is my consecutive daily blog # 637)

Source article. You can find it by “googling” 12 Companies With Seriously Impressive Corporate Wellness Programs (They asked me to remove the link for some reason.)

This stuff is not rocket science. Until your employees learn all about the “why” and the “how” (See list below) for consuming a truly superior diet, they will continue to get fatter and sicker. Not only can the corporation facilitate this learning process, they can also provide incentives, rewards, support, recognition and leadership. A winning combination for the employees, their families, the company, the shareholders, the nation and the world.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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