Corporate Support for Wellness

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       Many USA employers share healthcare costs with their employees and obtain lower-cost group insurance for health-related expenses. These employers also arrange wellness programs to help employees learn voluntary lifestyle actions that lower the risk for harmful health conditions (e.g., how-we- coach). Healthcare costs are less when employees are healthy, and self-insured USA corporations may recover and reallocate some of the funds currently spent on healthcare claims to meet other priorities and goals.
.      The Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED) is facilitating a healthcare cost reduction study (Balance Study) for companies interested in gathering enough statistically significant data to demonstrate how financial savings occur when employees “NIX the 6 and EAT the 3”.
.       The following example is a corporate wellness activity that can show benefit for both employee and employer when they increase awareness of the profound health value of balancing dietary intakes of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in foods and make voluntary food choices that create a better balance between the omega-3 and omega-6 HUFA that are accumulated in body tissues and provide a better quality of life.

How the study works:
•    To help make informed choices of daily foods, participants will receive free information on the balance of omega 3 and 6 nutrients in more than 5,000 different foods. Foods with positive scores will increase the % omega-3 in tissue HUFA, and foods with negative scores increase the % omega-6 in tissue HUFA.
•    Each participant will complete one blood test initially to learn their own HUFA balance and another in 6 months to learn of their progress. Participants in this study authorize the Study Managers to assemble anonymous summaries of each participant’s otherwise confidential results in order to show the effectiveness of the activity.

•    Participants will be awarded Gift Certificates based on the 12-month change in the participant’s HUFA Test Score results.
•    Participants will complete one HUFA Test per year and can request two free kits annually. A minimum of three months must pass between tests, and data gathering will last three years.
•    While this study requires only one HUFA test per year, striving to maintain daily an optimal dietary omega 3-6 balance will yield the greatest long-term health rewards. The body HUFA balance can shift within months and result in a better sense of well-being.
•    The goal is to make this study as effective and beneficial to participants as possible, so you are encouraged to share suggestions for improvement with the Study Managers.
•     Eligibility: All employees are eligible for this study.

Background information:
Substantial evidence indicates that the company and its employees benefit when maintaining an optimal tissue HUFA balance that can support*:
•    Improved physical and mental health
•    Improved morale and productivity
•    Fewer health insurance claim costs
•    Lower risk of depleting H.S.A. funds
•    Lower health insurance premiums (long-term goal)
Data gathered in the study period will indicate how well the company and its employees benefit
•    The only data couple each individual’s annual health claim cost with that person’s measured HUFA balance and removes all personally identifiable information.
•    Aggregate de-identified anonymous data pairs in this study will be combined with data from other participating groups also concerned with preventing rising health care costs. The combined data will have more statistical power and significance than data from only one company alone.
•    The combined data can inform and enhance other corporate wellness programs concerned with preventing rising health care costs.
•     The wellness program uses existing nutritional information and tools from a wellness support website http://efaeducation.org to help employees voluntarily choose and eat foods that diminish the relative proportion of n-6 in tissue HUFA and the hormone-like products related to n-6-mediated health care costs.
•     The website offers a Q&A section with continuing advice and interpretations for participants.
•     Omega 3-6 Balance Scores are a primary tool for informed food choices that can balance intakes of omega 6 and omega 3. Foods with positive scores will increase the proportion of omega-3 in tissue HUFA and those with negative scores will increase the proportion of omega-6. .      The wellness program encourages reduced intake of foods with very negative Omega 3-6 Balance Scores and increased intake of foods with more positive Scores. You can download the Omega Foods App to your personal mobile device for planning meals, shopping or discussing foods with friends.
•     While the anonymous data collected will indicate savings in health-related pharmacy and medical finances, occupational medicine experts consider that health-related absenteeism and presenteeism losses may be much more. For migraine-like problems, they may be 10 times the medical-pharmacy costs.
.        *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any specific disease.

An example of an Employee Informed Consent Sign-Up Sheet is:

I, ______________________, elect to participate in the Employee Balance Study. The goal of this study is to bring benefit to both the employee and the company by increasing awareness of the profound health value of maintaining an optimal balance in the dietary intake of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. By signing below, I indicate that I understand the following:
•    I have read the study document.
•    As part of this study, I will take an Omega 3 HUFA test.
•    I understand and agree that my results in this Study will be shared in a de-identified way with the Study Managers.
•    I understand that de-identified results will be combined by the Study Managers with results from other studies to build a more inclusive view of how HUFA balance relates to annual health care claim costs in the USA.
•    I understand that the Study is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any specific disease.
•    I will consult with a physician or healthcare provider before starting a new nutrition or supplement regimen, particularly if I have any medical condition or regularly use medications.
•    I understand that I will report my gift certificate to the IRS as taxable income.

Employee: __________________________    Date: ___________

Updated May, 2015