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While the vast majority of companies in the United States are now offering wellness programs, most would admit their program is far from perfect. Figuring out how to squeeze the highest impact out of what seems like an ever-shrinking budget is one of the biggest struggles a benefit administrator will run into when putting together a wellness program. While most behavior change or “intervention” programs available in the wellness world are focused on a single issue, we may have found the one focus that can impact multiple health risks and make your dollar go the furthest.

Many wellness program decisions are made similarly to how we shop for consumer goods. Marketing and “buzz words” go a long way. Think about the difference in exposure you see between breast cancer and diabetes. During breast cancer awareness month, NFL football players wore pink, there were public service announcements promoting breast cancer awareness and even the eggs in my refrigerator had a pink ribbon stamped on them. I can’t say any of those things about diabetes, but diabetes related deaths outnumber breast cancer every year by nearly five times. It’s all about perception and visibility.

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