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Wisconsin companies see benefits of wellness programs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Companies across Wisconsin are turning to wellness programs as a way to save money and improve the health and productivity of their employees.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that a Cornell University study found that 12 percent of all health care dollars in Wisconsin are spent on obesity-related conditions, above the national average of 8 percent.

Justin Sydnor is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business and researches wellness programs. He says companies hope to curb health care costs by encouraging their employees to be healthier.

But studies have mixed conclusions about how effective the programs are. Some studies found that offering money doesn't motivate people to be healthier. Others have shown that the programs can reduce company health costs.

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