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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Policy Solutions for Obesity and Diabetes
06/30/2008

Click to listen to this taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

Texas Health Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, recently issued a report identifying four immediate health care challenges Texans face and proposing solutions for policymakers, communities and consumers. One of the four key challenges is obesity and diabetes.

More than 4.6 million Texans are obese, according to the Texas State Data Center. If current trends persist, the cost to Texas businesses of obesity and obesity-related illness could reach $15.8 billion by the year 2025.

People who are overweight are at higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and several types of cancer. Chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but they are also among the most preventable health problems.

Texas Health Institute’s report, titled “Raising the Bar on Health Solutions,” recommends four policy solutions aimed at reversing the obesity trend and promoting preventive behaviors from the classroom to the boardroom. The solutions include increasing incentives for employers to promote workplace wellness and investing in school- and community-based programs to encourage healthy habits in children and families.

At Texas Health Resources, we offer employees financial incentives for eating well, staying fit and taking steps to reduce their stress level. We also support community based programs to encourage healthy habits in families.

For our faith-based hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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