This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Slowing Down
Aging with a Pill


  The Herman Trend Alert

August 20, 2008

Obesity, Costs, and Wellness

According to the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (, "all US adults could be overweight in 40 years". This frightening forecast is a finding in their government-funded study. Two-thirds of the population is already characterized as being "overweight", so any increase should cause alarm. These new projections, published recently in the journal "Obesity", are based on data collected over 34 years.

By the year 2030, 86 percent of US adults could be overweight with an obesity rate of 51 percent. "Obesity" is defined as weighing 20 percent above the recommended weight for height and age, while "overweight" is defined as weighing "more than is healthy for your age and size". If the trends continue, by 2048, all US adults could be at least mildly overweight.

The study projects weight problems will be most severe among selected groups, notably African-Americans and Mexican-Americans. All African-American women and more than 90 percent of Mexican-American men could be overweight by 2034.

"Genetically and physiologically, it should be impossible" for all US adults to become overweight", said Dr. Lan Liang, a researcher on the study. However, the data suggest, "that is the direction we’re going. This is really intended as a wake-up call to show what could happen if nothing changes", she said.

If nothing does change, healthcare costs directly related to being overweight and obese will double each decade, reaching $957 billion in 2030—accounting for one-sixth of the healthcare dollars spent in the US.

Just telling people to eat less and exercise more is not enough; widespread efforts are needed to improve Americans’ lifestyles and keep their weight healthy. Other suggestions include: "making communities more pedestrian-friendly so that people can walk regularly [and] getting the food industry to offer healthier, calorie-conscious choices". Liang continues: "It really needs to be more than an individual effort; it needs to be a societal effort".

Our belief is that wise employers will continue to provide or upgrade their incentive programs for workers who maintain healthy bodyweight and refrain from engaging in unhealthy activities, e.g., smoking. As other recent studies have proven, wellness programs work.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Beginning in September, Joyce will be teaching Leadership and Innovation aboard the cruise ship MV World Odyssey with Semester at Sea. Visiting 11 countries and 12 cities, the voyage starts in Amsterdam and travels to Poland, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Ghana, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, and Costa Rica before docking in San Diego. Offering cultural experiences way beyond typical cruise shore excursions, the field programs will feature cultural interactions with nationals in each country. While the program mostly serves college students, it also welcomes some Lifelong Learners on each voyage. For more information, visit the Fall 2019 Voyage for Semester at Sea. Or for more information about Joyce's role on this fabulous voyage, you can call her at 1.336.210.3548.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

A whopping 84 percent of employees say financial wellness programs are the workplace benefit they need the most. At the same time a new study revealed that 91% of employers plan to develop or expand employee financial wellness programs beyond retirement planning and in the next 5 years. That means you will need this benefit to compete for top talent and keep your good people! Don't be left behind; take action today! Call 847-242-0550 ext 100 for a free trial TODAY.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home · About · Products · Resources · Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.