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Obesity: CHOA Makes a Stand

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NCCI published an excellent study about a year ago regarding the increased risk of disabling injuries as a result of obesity.  According to NCCI, “the study concludes that there are systematic differences in the outcomes for obese and non-obese claimants with comparable demographic characteristics. The study also concludes that there is greater risk that injuries will create permanent disabilities if the injured worker is obese.”
Based on the cases in which PRIUM has intervened with our clinical review services for complex claims, it’s clear obesity is the most common (and most complicating) co-morbidity, particularly among those struggling with tolerance, dependence, or addiction to prescription narcotics.  The frustrations we encounter in trying to deal with the condition among injured adults are for another post.  The best long term solution to the problem lies in prevention, namely a focus on rectifying childhood obesity. 
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) has developed an ad campaign around the issue of childhood obesity that is, let’s just say, pointed.  (Full disclosure: Children’s is a former consulting client of mine and there are precious few organizations on the planet that I think more highly of than CHOA).  The organization is breaking new ground with this campaign, however, and it’s ruffled a few feathers both locally and nationally.  Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation and the Children’s hospital that takes care of these children has decided to hit the issue head on.
Some notable taglines from the print and television ads:
“Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid”
“Stop sugar-coating it, Georgia”
“It’s hard to be a little girl… if you’re not”
Gut wrenching stuff.  My view: I’m supportive.  I think this is the kind of direct, tough talk that’s needed to begin to fix the problem. 
What do you think?  And will the ads make a difference in the long run?   
Michael

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