Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

*Joined 12/6/22 to 1/9/23
Member Feature: The Cost of Obesity in the Workplace
Written by John Sceppa PA-C, ProMedical Weight Loss, LLC
Recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys(NHANES) demonstrate that almost 74% of American adults aged 20 and over are obese or considered overweight.   

Obesity has been associated with health concerns including Prediabetes, Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Depression, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Sleep Apnea, Respiratory problems, Stroke, Gallbladder disease, Arthritis, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and some types of Cancer. 

The American workforce has transitioned from predominantly manual labor to more sedentary desk jobs. This shift has been a significant detriment to the obesity problem. All businesses, large and small, may wish to consider the fact that optimizing employee health derives a significant return on investment in the form of productivity.   

Obesity is classified by a metric known as Body Mass Index- commonly referred to as BMI. BMI is a type of health classification system that categorizes individuals based on their weight and height as either normal, overweight, or obese. Medical literature consistently demonstrates a strong association between the level of BMI and medical expenditures. These include pharmaceutical costs along with productivity metrics including absenteeism, short term disability and workmen’s compensation.

A recent longitudinal study of employees and spouses in a manufacturing company found that medical and pharmaceutical costs increased significantly per BMI unit above normal body weight (BMI < 25). It is important to note that modifiable health risks associated with obesity including high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol were proportionately associated with increased medical care costs.

Obesity is associated with a significant increase in absenteeism among US workers which costs the nation an estimated $8.65 billion per year. Compared to normal weight employees, individuals with a higher BMI demonstrated an increase in total medical expenses from $3863.34 to $7924.53 per year noted in a 2011 study. Workdays lost to short-term disability (STD) follow a similar pattern with respect to BMI. Data also demonstrates a clear correlation between workplace safety and BMI. Reported accidental events and worker's compensation claims were twice as high. In addition, medical claims and indemnity costs were 11 times higher when compared to average weight employees.

Beyond the physical effects of obesity, there exists a tremendous psychosocial burden linked to decreased quality of life for those affected as well as increased incidence of depression. Obese individuals are less likely to obtain employment, receive lower salaries with less frequent promotions and report less satisfaction with their employment.

Multiple studies clearly demonstrate an association between BMI and work productivity along with the associated increased medical expenses. Employers and the health care designees should consider implementing a workplace wellness program to focus on lifestyle modification interventions. A program consisting of healthy dietary education, physical activity and behavioral therapy should all be implemented. Although many online programs exist with internet sites and smart phone applications, overall weight loss appears modest as compared to face to face contact with the provider.

In summary, corrective and preventive treatment of obesity will have a profoundly positive impact on for both quality of life and productivity for those affected for many years to come. This is undoubtedly a significant return on investment for both employers and the employee on whom they depend on every day.
Events From Your Fellow Members
Town of Southbury Celebrates 350 Years of History
The Town of Southbury is holding a year-long series of events and activities to celebrate 350 years of community, culture and history (1673-2023), aimed at highlighting the past and progress of the one and only Southbury. 

“We want the entire community to be involved,” said First Selectman, Jeffrey Manville. “By celebrating this important year in our history, it gives us the opportunity to come together as a Town, reflect on the past, and recognize what a special place Southbury is today.” A volunteer steering committee has organized events for every month of the year, with more being added, including a snow and ice festival, history talks, history walks, restaurant week, a display of memories, historical photography exhibit, quilt project, musical performances, vintage car show, a time-capsule, plus the annual Southbury Celebration and Memorial Day Parade. 

The 350th Anniversary Celebration kicks-off with an event at the Southbury Library on January 14th from 1:00 – 2:30pm in the Kingsley Room. Introductory speeches will be followed by a musical journey through history called, “An American Pop Music Time Machine” performed by Rick Spencer and Dawn Indermuehle. This event is free to attend and open to anyone, regardless of residency, with registration using the link below. 

In 1673, a group of colonists from Stratford travelled up the river that we know today as the Housatonic in order to erect a new settlement in the Pomperaug Valley, which was negotiated with the Pootatuck Native Americans. After an initial day of exploration, these religious dissidents spent the night under a white oak tree on an old riverside path. That tree stood for many years more on Crook Horn Road by Settlers Park, in what was to become the Town of Southbury. 

To learn more about the 350th Anniversary visit: https://www.southbury-ct.org/350 

Jan. 11: Quinn Mitchell Live at the Heritage Hotel in Southbury
Upcoming Events at the Mattatuck Museum
Southbury Restaurant Week: February 4-11
SOUTHBURY, CT - Southbury Restaurant Week is back and stronger than ever as part of a year-long series of events celebrating Southbury’s last 350 years of community, culture and history. Between February 4-11, participating restaurants will offer either a prix fixe menu at an attractive price point or a 10% discount on your entire bill.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the Town of Southbury to help celebrate 350 years of Southbury”, said Michael Ferreira, Founder of Southbury.com. “This is just one of many events happening this year as part of this celebration and it’s a win win for both restaurants and patrons. Restaurants will hopefully see more customers in their establishments and consumers can experience their offerings at a discounted rate.”

There are a total of 21 establishments participating in this year’s event, ranging from fine dining to delis and bakeries to diners. Participating eateries include: Brightside Nutrition, DiPalma’s Restaurant & Pizza, Hometown Pizza of Southbury, Hudson’s Cafe & Bistro, Julio’s Wood Fired Pizza & Grill, KRU Juice Bar, Laurel Diner, Leo’s Restaurant, Lucas Local Oyster Bar, Mercato Italian Kitchen and Bar, Mission Salad, Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe, Patty’s Pantry, Rathskeller Restaurant and Bar, Samui Thai Cuisine, Señor Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Sonny’s Asian Grinders & More, Southbury Baking Company, The 1850 House, The Lodge Bar and Grill and The Tavern at the Heritage Hotel.

Aside from enjoying a great meal at a great value, customers can also enter a giveaway to receive 1 of 3 prizes with a total value worth over $800 in gift cards.

More information about participating restaurants and details about the giveaway can be found at: https://southbury.com. To stay abreast of all the exciting events, including the Snow and Ice Festival, February 4-11th, visit: 
Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury: Volunteer Tutor Upcoming Training Sessions
Our next Tutor Training dates have been scheduled! Please consider your new year's resolution to be helping an adult learner in your community! For more information, please contact Executive Director Jessica Reho at 203-754-1164 or jreho@waterburyct.org
Jan. 28: Humans vs. AI Event at Develomark
Can you guess if AI wrote the text content when compared to a human? Enter for a chance to win $3,000. Do you think you can distinguish between text written by a human and text written by a computer? Compete against 100 other participants to see if you can differentiate content written by a real-life writer or artificial intelligence. If you win you will get $3,000 cash that day!

Event Details:
DATE: Saturday, January 28, 2023
TIME: 10:00 AM
LOCATION: Develomark, 409 Canal Street, Plantsville, CT
Please Note: You must be comfortable being on camera and able to visit our office in Plantsville, CT.

Register today before spots fill up! https://www.develomark.com/competition/humans-vs-ai
Acts 4 Ministry Fundraiser Dinner at the Ponte Club Feb. 2
Acts 4 Ministry will benefit from a fundraising dinner at the Ponte Club at La Bella Vista Banquet facility at 380 Farmwood Road in Waterbury, on Thursday, February 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The sit-down fundraiser will begin with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres followed by a family-style dinner to include pasta Fagioli, pasta with meatballs and soffritto, and filet mignon tips. Bottles of red wine will be placed on each table. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for a cash bar. The cost for dinner is $40 per person, a portion of which will be donated to the non-profit, non-denominational Acts 4 Ministry. To reserve, visit https://acts4.org/about/acts4-news-and-events/, or call La Bella Vista at 203-527-4006 with specific identification for the Acts 4 Ministry fundraiser. To learn more about Acts 4 Ministry, Inc., visit https://acts4.org. All donations are tax-deductible.
Feb. 10: Children's Community School Annual Art & Wine Fundraiser
Our Annual Art & Wine Fundraiser is back!

Featuring Artwork & Photography by our Children's Community School students in collaboration with ASAP! and Mattatuck Museum.

Friday, February 10, 2023, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Watertown Golf Club, 246 Guernseytown Road, Watertown, CT.

Tickets are $40 in advance at ccswaterbury.org or $45 at the door.
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Member News and Updates
Waterbury Exchange Club Celebrating 75 Years: Help Donate Toward Their Yearlong Community Outreach Projects
The Waterbury Exchange Club is celebrating their 75th Anniversary in 2023! Every month, the club has a community project planned that will help those in need and support our main mission of child abuse prevention. In January, the club is looking to donate at least 75 pounds of food to local food pantries within the city. If you would like to support this initiative, please note that canned goods/nonperishable items can be dropped off at Skyline Financial FCU (3528 E Main St, by Costco) and FD Community Credit Union (601 Watertown Ave & 281 Meriden Rd) through January 22. Stay tuned for more of our community events throughout 2023!
Information Technology Update from Bsquared Intel
Happy New Year! 2022 ended with a doozy of a revelation by password manager LastPass. A breach they had in August of 2022 was revealed to the public just a few days before the Holidays that the bad actor actually possessed the password vaults of LastPass users on top of customer data. Once you start digging into things, it looks much worse than what’s stated in LastPass’ security bulletin. If you are a LastPass user and this is the first time you’re hearing about this data breach, change your master password AND ALL THE PASSWORDS stored in your vault immediately, up the rounds of encryption used to protect the passwords in your vault, and ensure two-factor authentication is enabled.
Check out Bsquared Intel’s Weekly Roundup episode where I talk about this and what my predictions are for 2023. https://vimeo.com/785243110
Also a reminder that there are 7 months left until part one of Connecticut’s new data privacy law goes into affect on July 1st 2023. If you are an organization that’s affected by this law, and you haven’t started on the information security piece of it, let alone everything else, you’re going to run out of time before you know it.
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Bill Becker
President Bsquared Intel | Email: bill@bsquaredintel.com | Phone: 203.828.0012
Ransom Continues to Affect Healthcare, Education, and Government Organizations
As we wound down last year Bleeping Computer reported that ransomware continues to impact business, higher education, and government agencies. Over 200+ US organizations suffered attacks.

Data is being stolen and exposed in these cyber incidents.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that threatens the target that they will publish sensitive or personal information or block their access to your data unless a payment is made usually via a crypto currency that is difficult to trace.

WorkWise is a suite of cybersecurity topics that increases your awareness and reduce the risk online.

Test drive one module of WorkWise via the tool, Social Engineering at no charge which improves your organization’s security.

Test drive one of module of WorkWise’s Social Engineering at no charge which will improve your organizations cybersecurity

Contact: Justin Golden
1(972)679-9738 (mobile)