Screen-Shot-2014-06-20-at-12.29.15-PM-e1403281794257“Increasingly, workers are finding health-related programs available through work, and they’re not just incentives to exercise more. Many employers are also starting to penalize employees who smoke or who are overweight,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“For many employers, it’s all part of keeping a lid on escalating healthcare costs.”

“Chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are on the rise. And unhealthful habits such as smoking, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption and poor nutrition are widely seen as major contributors. These illnesses often lead to higher healthcare costs for employers, and can even lower employee productivity.”

“That’s one reason programs to help people lose weight, stop smoking and better manage chronic illnesses are so popular these days.”