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Wellness and Benefits News Roundup: Conflicted Physicians, Nicotine Successes, and Diet Failures

Updated: Jan 15



The New England Journal of Medicine published its first-ever article about wellness [behind a paywall but worth signing up for the free near-term subscription]. Its viewpoint: primary care physicians should not be forced to choose whether to report employee noncompliance (which itself could harm the employee, violating the Hippocratic Oath) or whether to give employees a pass and allow them to earn their incentives or avoid fines even if they aren’t complying.


The Cochrane Review published a meta-analysis concluding that nicotine replacement therapy is much more successful than previously believed. It might be time to reconfigure wellness programs to incorporate more of it.



Obesity is a more complex problem than many people think. And wellness programs to “help” employees may be backfiring (The Huffington Post). The keynote session at the HEROForum18 conference, presented by Professor Gary Bennett of Duke University, had a similar theme: "We know that just about any diet program will show success at 3/6 months, but within a year or two they've gained it back." He also noted that coaching may produce behavior change (not necessarily sustained weight loss) – if an employee gets the same coach, the coach is highly competent, and both parties have sufficient time for coaching.



30-second shameless plug: Quizzify’s curriculum, reviewed by doctors at Harvard Medical School, incorporates the latest and most accurate insights into these issues, especially obesity, where our viewpoint has always favored exercise over diet, and dietary composition over short-term weight loss.


Missed last week’s news roundup? Here it is.