The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has targeted obesity control as the focus of its Labor Day Checklist, an annual list of tips to assist both employers and employees in improving the health and safety of workers, the workplace and the environment.

The 2004 checklist, "Controlling Obesity in the Workplace," is posted on the ACOEM Web site at

Not every employer can afford to offer its employees memberships at the gym, so the checklist suggests ways small employers can help reduce obesity — such as distributing free materials on nutrition and weight management and encouraging physical activity during lunch or breaks.

Simple changes can help. Drinking water is often not emphasized when trying to make lifestyle changes. Work sites that don't offer bottled water in their vending areas discourage water as a beverage, says Carl Otten, MD, of Adena Health System.