HR Management & Compliance

300% ROI for Weight Loss Programs?

In yesterday’s Advisor, we discussed the CDC’s strategies for dealing with obesity. Today we continue that discussion, and we take a look at a unique wellness guide that could get you a 300% return on your investment.

Of course, it’s not easy for most people to diet and lose weight, and then keep it off. Behavioral interventions are often the key to success. Behavioral strategies for obesity prevention and control focus on teaching behavioral management skills and structuring the social environment to provide support for people trying to initiate or maintain weight change.

Strategies often include individual or group behavioral counseling, and often involve co-workers, family members, and other intermediaries who are part of an individual’s social environment.

Behavioral methods include:

  • Modeling or demonstration

  • Participatory skill development
  • Individual benchmarking (i.e., goal setting and achievement)
  • Providing feedback
  • Providing incentives or disincentives
  • Providing materials necessary to enhance the desired behavior (e.g., pedometers, food journals)

Promising Practice #4: Weight-loss Competitions and Incentives
(Go here for Promising Practices 1 to 3)

Competitions and incentives consist of rewards for losing weight, making behavioral changes, increasing physical activity, or improving nutrition. The rewards can be in-kind, financial, or just the pride of winning. The incentives can vary in size and by type and can be used for:

  • Screening

  • Enrollment
  • Compliance (i.e., staying in the program)
  • Completing the program
  • Maintenance of the changes after completing the program

Promising Practice #5: Behavioral Practices with Incentives

Behavioral practices teach behavioral management skills, modeling or demonstration, participatory skill development, and individual benchmarking (i.e., goal setting and achievement), provide feedback, and build social support for behavioral patterns.

Such practices are complemented by in-kind or financial incentives, typically given for participation and completing the program.


Corporate wellness programs show great ROI. And they are win-win—employees feel better and are more productive, and employers reap the benefits. Even small improvements make a difference. Test drive Workplace Wellness with no cost or risk.


Promising Practice #6: Behavioral Practices Without Incentives

These programs offer the same types of behavioral skills development as the programs described above, but do not offer incentives. The typical behavioral practice consisted of one-on-one or group consultations with personalized goals or plans of action to improve employees’ nutrition, increase their physical activity, or help them lose weight.

There’s little doubt that the programming described above can help with obesity. And that’s an important part of a complete wellness program.

Well-structured and well-run wellness programs generate ROI of up to 300 percent—music to management’s ears! But the key words are “well-structured” and “well-run.” Poorly structured programs just spin their wheels—no health benefit and no positive ROI, either.

Many readers have told us that BLR’s comprehensive guidebook, Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROIhas helped them get programs up and running that achieve wellness objectives with a great ROI while avoiding the legal hassles that, these days, seem to accompany any worthwhile venture in HR.


Wellness—NO downside! Impressive ROI, so management’s happy. Better health and employees are happy. And that means HR is happy. BLR’s Workplace Wellness is the key to developing your workplace wellness program.


It’s a comprehensive guide that takes you step-by-step through setting up a program, from convincing management all the way through to creating and implementing a workable plan for your workplace. The guide also includes a vast collection of ready-to-use forms, handouts, and checklists that both structure your program and provide the metrics to prove its effectiveness to management’s satisfaction.

If you’d like to examine Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI on a no-cost, no-obligation basis for 30 days, we can arrange for you to do so. Let us know and we’ll be happy to set it up.

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