About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Monday, February 4, 2008

Prevention: Carrots, Not Sticks, Cont'd

By the end of Super Tuesday, GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee may no longer be on the national stage. His personal crusade to lose weight and control his diabetes has done much to publicize the importance of prevention and the ability of individuals to control their health destinies.

A recent entry by Michael Millenson in the Health Affairs blog, which is being circulated widely in the health and wellness communities, takes a hard look at the difficulty of actually implementing policies that encourage wellness implied in Huckabee's campaign speeches.

How do you reward positive health behaviors without punishing negative ones? Are such policies fair? Are they even . . .moral?

"The man or woman most prone to seeking solace in food is not infrequently compensating for emotional nourishment missing in other areas of life," Millenson writes.

As most people in the wellness industry know, lasting behavior change requires education, patience, persistence and support. If it was easy, everyone would live healthy lifestyles.

Millenson's article is a good reminder that helping employees get healthier requires more than a simply a policy, a rule--or a political speech.

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