The Quarantine 15 - Why the Weight Gain Matters

The Quarantine 15 - Why the Weight Gain Matters

It’s more important than ever to screen your employees and “Know Your Number”.

We have all heard about the “Pandemic Pounds” or the “Quarantine 15”. Unfortunately, it is very real and dangerous to both your employees and bottom line. How can you know if your employees have fallen victim to the quarantine 15 from COVID-19?

There is a growing reality in the medical and business communities that COVID-19, and its new variants, could impact the global economy through 2022. Continued quarantines and altered work environments have disrupted daily lifestyles, healthy habits, and increased stress. For the general population, this has led to less exercise and more calorie consumption. The result? Weight gain commonly referred to as “the quarantine 15”

Why does the weight gain matter?

We recently analyzed a client with several thousand employees. Their year-over-year per person average weight gain from 2019 to 2020 was 5 pounds. 5 pounds may not sound like a lot, but the Know Your Number Risk Tracker data tells us a very different story.

Our client saw an avoidable risk increase of 9.8% and saw 5% of their population move from overweight to obese. This small 5% change resulted in a projected 12% increase in new avoidable cases of diabetes. In addition, 13% of the population moved from the borderline risk to the high-risk category.

This translates to over $4,000,000 in net-new avoidable claims in the next 5 years for just 5 pounds.

How can employers help?

During the pandemic, we have seen large employers avoid their traditional biometric screening process. However, it is vitally important to quantify the year-over-year health risks and begin the total health education process with your employees.

If you’re not already, start doubling down on positive health incentives. Promote annual checkups and taking prescribed medications as directed. Ensure employees are focusing on age and gender-based preventative screenings. These are the early warning systems for employers and health plan sponsors.

For more information on screening your employees, reach out to us today.

Kimberly Scott
Kimberly Scott
Director of Product Management

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