I saw an ABC news piece on how Safeway, the supermarket chain, is encouraging employees to eat more healthy food, exercise and watch their weight.  They save them money on insurance by reducing the amount contributed by employees to pay for premiums, and offer bonus incentives for healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, bmi, not smoking, and lower weight measurements.

Here’s a clip from an interview with Safeway’s CEO, Steve Burd, on ABCNews.com.  Burd mentions that 70% of our medical costs are due to poor lifestyles and habits.  “About 75% of those are caused by four diseases: coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes and results from overweight and obesity.”

Safeway puts their money where their mouth is.  They offer employees savings on health insurance, and make deposits of money into employee’s accounts for good health records.  Their offer nutritional education; they provide exercise facilities; they contribute to gyms throughout the country so that local employees may join at substantially reduced costs.  Their cafeterias offer healthy food choices at lower costs.

President Obama has repeatedly cited Safeway as a model for encouraging health.  I think they’re an excellent teacher on how major corporations could really make a difference in people’s lives, and control health-care costs substantially: for companies and individuals.

Would YOU make an effort to exercise, eat better and lose weight if it saved you money and paid you bonuses?  Tell us with a comment – we’d love to know if you would put your money where your mouth is!

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