According to a new study, one out of three Polk school employees is overweight, and two out of five is obese.
Wellness experts say those statistics are costing the school district a lot of money, and they have a plan to cut those costs. They want the district to pay half the cost of Weight Watchers or Medifast, and up to 80 percent of weight loss surgery.
It sounds expensive, but Polk County is self-insured, and last year, health care costs for employees exceeded $11 million -- a 27 percent increase over the previous year.
"If we help people lose weight , then we will see a reduction in our health care costs," said Debbie Zimmerman, who heads up the wellness program.
At this point, there is no money to fund the program, but school board members are taking it under consideration.
Click on the video player to see Ken Suarez's full report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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