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Employers combat Louisiana obesity with incentives

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Louisiana is tipping the scales as the most obese state in the country.

This is according to a new report released by the trust for America's health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the study Louisiana obesity is at 34.7 percent in adults making this the first time in 8 years Mississippi has not been number 1.

With this high percentage the city of Monroe is already taking an active role to prevent its employees from tipping the scales.

Monroe has more than 900 full time employees.

All employees must go through an initial health screening and evaluation then they are encouraged to join the city's Points for Wellness Program.

The program began in 2011 and allows employees to save 300 dollars a year on health insurance.

Employees collect wellness points at seminars, health fairs and other health related activities the city sponsors.

Human Recourse Director Gail Ryan says the programs saves the city money on insurance premiums and keeps employees healthy.

"But its kind of a combination factor but our focus is really on getting people out there to be able to improve their health and be more aware of their health and of course a big part of that is the weight issue" says Ryan.

The city of Monroe is one of many area employers that has healthy living incentives including local hospitals Saint Frances and E. A. Conway.

Link to the study : http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2013/?stateid=LA

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