Dr. Marie-Ange D. Tardieu and the Body Image Institute of New York Propose Worksite Wellness Centers to Curtail the Obesity Epidemic in America

May 17, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
LARCHMONT, NEW YORK – Dr. Marie-Ange D. Tardieu and the BODY IMAGE INSTITUTE of NEW YORK propose worksite wellness centers to curtail the obesity epidemic in America. Overweight and obesity in America have reached epidemic proportion. Currently, two out of three or 71 percent adult Americans are either overweight or obese. According to Dr. Marie-Ange D. Tardieu, a plastic surgeon who directs a body image clinic in New York, "a very promising opportunity for changing health behavior is the location of direct-service weight reduction programs at worksites. "On-the-job training has a long and honorable history in American industry" she stated. "On -the-job training to improve health behavior can be equally rewarded to workers and employers alike." Dr. Tardieu believes that "better health could easily repay the costs of the program through improved work performance." Employees who benefits from such programs," she added, "have decreased absenteeism, and, particularly, decreased hospitalization."

The potential of the worksite as a locus for long-term prevention and wellness care has been demonstrated over and over in major corporations such as Proctor and Gambles that offer wellness programs to their employees.

According to Dr. Tardieu, worksite wellness programs have many advantages. First, time away from work is kept to a minimum - 30 minutes of physical exercise a day, and an extra 30 minutes a month for medical check-ups are sufficient for a serious program of weight reduction and health maintenance. Second, worksite wellness programs obviate the high overhead costs of hospitals. Third, they greatly decrease the probability of missed appointments and treatment dropouts.

Dr. Tardieu is certain that a program, carried out with the collaboration, and in part, at the expense of the employer, exerts far stronger sanctions for attendance than one conducted during leisure time and with varying degrees of personal or family commitment.

Fourth, jobsite programs tap potential for health behavior change which is not fully explored in the US. The organized support and encouragement of fellow workers can constitute an unprecedented stimulus for weight loss. Reward given for excess pounds lost to groups for improving their collective health could be even more effective than those given to individuals. These rewards might become even more effective as prizes for a competition between members of union locals.

Dr. Tardieu believes that such program involving nutritionists, exercise physiologists, working in collaboration with a physician, would help curtail the increasing rate of obesity in America, which, since 1995, has been growing at the alarming rate of 1% per year. According to her, the potential clientele for jobsite health programs is enormous. The vast number of individuals employed by government agencies and health institutions provide attractive venues for instituting an onsite wellness program to promote weight loss and health behavior intervention.

THE BODY IMAGE INSTITUTE of NEW YORK is a Plastic Surgery Clinic and consulting firm serving communities throughout the New York tri-state area. Dr. Marie-Ange D. Tardieu, a plastic surgeon, body image and obesity consultant, is the institute’s medical director. For over ten years, she has been on a crusade to curtail the trend of overweight and obesity that threatens our nation.

Dr. Tardieu holds monthly Workshops and Seminars on proper nutrition and physical activity to lower the risk of overweight and obesity in New York City colleges, community hospitals, at medical offices in the Bronx, Westchester, and at the Community Constant Care in Brooklyn. To learn about seminars on ISSUES IN BODY IMAGE and THE RULES OF EATING, please call 718-708-5622 (Bronx), 914-833-0783 (Westchester), 718-434-5345 (Brooklyn).