Small business employee health, work associate productivity and business costs.
Reebok just banned soda at their U.S. headquarters.
Is this a wakeup call for other businesses to be more involved on food issues impacting human health?
Or is this a hornet nest that CEOs and business owners should avoid at all costs?
The business case for banning soda
There is a strong business case for the bold step by Reebok to ban sodas. The national cost of health care is now $3 trillion annually. This is equal to the entire annual gross domestic production of England or France. This level of health care cost is not sustainable for our country or your business.
As business leaders we are also learning hard lessons on what is not working in terms of managing health care costs. Managing insurance provider is not working. Shifting the cost to work associates through higher deductibles to reduce health care costs is not working. Instead, data is pouring in that show people are increasing their health risks by avoiding health care to avoid paying the higher deductibles.
The last remaining action item for a small business seeking to manage health care costs is to focus on enabling work associate health.
That leads to the question of whether banning soda is a move your business should consider. The reason for considering this questions is because our country’s health cost crisis are being driven higher due to our national weight crisis.
Here are key obesity facts about today’s work associates:
- 70% of the boomer generation is obese or overweight.
- Projections are that 50% of Generation Z, the first generation born in the 21st century, will be obese during their lifetime.
- The percentage of Millennials (people age 18-29) that are obese has tripled since 1974.
The link between soda, weight and health care costs
It is added sugar, most especially from soda, that is the major reason why America has a weight linked health care cost crisis. Medical research now shows that our bodies are not designed to handle large quantities of ingested sugar. Ingesting sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is not an illness but a set of human health risks. These health risks include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat. These risk factors DOUBLE the risk of heart disease. They increase the risk of having diabetes by FIVE!
Next- Two key facts regarding the role soda plays in health