The federal Medicare program has removed longstanding policy language that states categorically obesity is not a disease. This isn’t the same as saying that obesity is a disease, but many fear that the altered language will open a floodgate of claims for obesity treatment, such as gastric bypass surgery (“stomach stapling”), according to the Boston Globe.

Nearly one-third of all Americans are now considered obese. It's a touchy issue to address in the workplace, but some companies are taking steps with nutrition and exercise programs to reduce healthcare costs. Obesity has been linked to several serious health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes and heart disease.

There's one advantage to launching weight loss programs at work — obesity can almost always be easily traced to its root cause. Heart disease might be due a combination of genetics, diet, stress and other lifestyle issues, but obesity is typically the result of too much food and not enough exercise.