New Study Finds 4 of 10 Top Executives are Obese

- Study Shows Alarming Percentages of Health Risks

Among Fortune 500 Executives -

Feb 15, 2000, 00:00 ET from Rippe Health Assessment at Celebration Health

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Results of a new study
 presented today at the Corporate America Health Summit 2000 at the Disney
 Institute suggest that the boardroom may not be the healthiest place for
 executives to sit.  It shows that many senior executives may be living
 unhealthy lifestyles, flirting dangerously with heart disease and,
 consequently, putting their companies at risk.
     Dr. James Rippe, associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Tufts
 University School of Medicine and founder/director of the Rippe Lifestyle
 Institute and Rippe Health Assessment at Celebration Health, summarized the
 findings of his study at the summit, which brought together medical officers,
 human resources executives and benefits managers from some of America's
 largest companies.  It opened Sunday and will conclude Wednesday with a Town
 Hall Meeting led by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.
     Dr. Rippe's study, The Rippe Health Assessment Study of Senior Executives,
 was based on the clinical results of 200 consecutive patients -- nearly three
 fourths of them Fortune 500 executives -- treated at the Rippe Health
 Assessment at Celebration Health, a central Florida facility.  It showed that
 an astounding 73 percent of them were not active enough, and nearly
 40 percent were obese.
     According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the prevalence
 of obesity among adults has increased from 25 percent to 32 percent in the
 past 10 years.  Among the obese executives, 100 percent have at least one
 other risk factor for cardiovascular disease, 86 percent have two other risk
 factors, and 60 percent have at least three other risk factors.
 Significantly, 55 percent of all heart disease occurs in individuals with at
 least two risk factors for this condition.  The bottom line:  senior
 executives have a disproportionate risk of heart disease, even compared
 with the population at large, which may be putting their companies' interests
 in danger as well.
     "For a CEO or other senior executive, health issues have a serious impact
 on both personal life and the welfare of the business," says Rippe, who also
 serves as the summit moderator.  "The critical levels of risk factors for
 heart disease among senior executives affect everyone in the business world,
 from employees to stockholders.  And because risk factors multiply each other
 in relation to the risk of heart disease, an overweight, inactive senior
 executive is something that no American company can afford."
     About the Study
     The study involved extensive review of clinical data on the executives,
 who were seen for annual health evaluations.  Their average age was 45.  The
 study indicated a high prevalence of other risk factors for heart disease,
 including inactive lifestyle, elevated waist circumference, elevated
 cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, elevated glucose or cigarette smoking.
 More than half of the executives seen for the study left with a new diagnosis
 of dyslipidemia, hypertension or coronary artery disease -- chronic diseases
 they had not been aware of before.
     Obesity and Executive Health
     Keeping the boardroom healthy carries enormous implications for every
 corporation in America.  In some cases, when the company's image and
 reputation are closely tied to the CEO, long-term illness or premature death
 carries not only profound consequences for the executive, but can also be
 catastrophic to the business.
     Obesity extends well beyond the executive suite, however, contributing to
 an estimated 300,000 deaths every year, second only to smoking as a
 preventable cause of death.  More than $100 billion is spent on
 obesity-related medical expenses and loss of income in the United States
 each year, not including the $42.6 billion spent annually to shed excess
 weight.  More that 53.6 million work days each year are lost due to illnesses
 attributable to obesity -- a loss of productivity that costs employers an
 additional $4.06 billion annually.
     "Obesity is a serious threat that crosses all industrial classifications
 and all levels of the organization chart," says Rippe.  "If American
 businesses are to remain healthy in the 21st century, now is the time to
 preserve and enhance vital human capital at all levels of an organization."
     These findings suggest that corporate America needs to focus more
 attention on assisting senior executives in seeking proper medical care and
 making positive lifestyle decisions, such as becoming more active and better
 managing their weight in order to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,
 the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the United States.
     About the Corporate America Health Summit 2000
     The Disney Institute is presenting the Corporate America Health Summit
 2000 in collaboration with the United States Chamber of Commerce and Rippe
 Health Assessment at Celebration Health.  The health summit aims to identify
 the major health issues threatening today's work force and address their
 impact on employer's ability to attract and retain healthy employees, who will
 keep their companies competitive.  In addition to Koop and Rippe, summit
 speakers include Tom Donohue, president, United States Chamber of Commerce,
 and Dr. Peter F. Wilson, a renowned specialist in cardiovascular risk factors
 and Director of the Framingham Heart Study.
     Since opening in 1996, the Disney Institute has become known as a creative
 community that offers programming for individuals and families looking for a
 unique way to vacation, as well as business leaders seeking professional
 development and team building.  In 1999, the Disney Institute announced it
 would host a series of conferences and symposiums to create positive change
 that will enrich lives by initiating dialogue among a wide range of opinion
     The Disney Institute's World & Community Symposium Series that began in
 November has included a Youth & Peace Symposium with Archbishop Desmond Tutu
 and continues with Corporate America Health Summit 2000.

SOURCE Rippe Health Assessment at Celebration Health