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January 9, 2013
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Strategies to improve employee and population health

  Wellness Programs & Trends 
  • Weight-loss competitions at work have pros, cons
    Employee weight-loss competitions are a popular wellness tool for companies because they get quick results and reduce health care costs, but experts say they can encourage unhealthy eating and cause tension among team members. Cornell University professor John Cawley says programs that offer financial incentives work best but warns that employees tend to regain weight after the incentives stop. The Wall Street Journal (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Immunizations top list of hospital wellness offerings
    An American Hospital Association wellness survey that included 876 hospitals showed 97% offered employees flu shots or other immunizations, while 81% had employee assistance or mental health programs. Data showed 79% had smoking-cessation programs, 78% offered workers healthy food choices and 73% had weight-loss programs. (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fitbit boosts sleep-health monitoring with activity tracking tool
    Fitbit has launched Fitbit Flex, a Bluetooth Smart-enabled activity tracking tool, that allows individuals to monitor their sleep health at night. The device can also be used to measure calories burned, steps taken and active minutes of users. Flex transmits the information into the Fitbit application and portal, and users can also share their health data with other mobile apps. (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health News & Research 
  • Pay may predict blood pressure risk, study finds
    In a study of wages, earning twice as much was associated with a 16% reduction in the likelihood of hypertension, according to a report in the European Journal of Public Health. Workers with the lowest pay, particularly women and adults aged 25 to 44, were more likely to have an elevated blood pressure than high earners, researchers at the University of California, Davis found. News (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More U.S. adults seek care at retail, workplace clinics
    A poll from Harris Interactive/HealthDay showed 27% of survey respondents had sought medical care from a walk-in retail clinic or a workplace clinic in the past two years, an increase from 7% in 2008. Younger adults were more likely to seek care from such clinics, with 40% of those aged 25 to 29 doing so, compared with 15% of respondents aged 65 and older. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Have resolutions gotten healthier?
    Weight-loss systems, gyms and restaurant chains alike are back with new ads for the new year aimed at people looking to shed pounds gained in 2012, but there's also evidence that more consumers are taking a longer-term view when it comes to their healthy eating resolutions. Surveys show consumers want more healthy choices on the menu, and they're broadening the definition of "healthy" to include local, sustainable and organic. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Diet supplements have varied amounts of caffeine, study says
    Dietary supplements vary widely in how much caffeine they contain, according to Harvard Medical School research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Inaccurate labeling and a lack of product information also were common problems, and researcher Pieter Cohen said people "really have no idea when they're purchasing supplements what's in them, even if they carefully read the label." Reuters (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools & Community 
  • Fla. schools are recognized for promoting nutrition, wellness
    Two elementary schools in a Florida district recently received the Gold Award of Distinction as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's HealthierUS School Challenge. Both schools have made nutrition, wellness and physical fitness priorities for students and staff. One principal, Jen Homard, appears on the morning announcements each day to try the fresh fruit of the day being served in the school cafeteria. "I figure they'll say, 'If Ms. Homard is trying it, then it must be OK,' " she said. The Gainesville Sun (Fla.) (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Wellness Industry Developments 
  AHIP News 
  • Registration is open for AHIP’s March Exchange Conference
    Whether your organization is just starting the discussions about Exchanges or deep into planning, you'll benefit from the programming at AHIP’s Exchange Conference, March 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C. The conference will cover immediate steps required, and mid- to long-term decisions necessary to successfully participate in Exchanges. Learn more and register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Reach health plans as an Affiliate Organization Member
    AHIP Affiliate Organization Membership offers you numerous opportunities to share your products and services with AHIP’s member health insurance plans. When you sign up, you’ll enjoy enhanced exposure to health plans, access to materials such as research reports and white papers, and member discounts. Read a full description of the program, and contact AHIP’s Business Development Team at to learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today."
--E. Joseph Cossman,
American entrepreneur and inventor

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