Gov. Martin O'Malley is looking for ways to trim his workforce – not the number of people, but their waistlines.
The administration has launched a wellness program aimed at state workers. The governor known for his statistical analysis of programs will also be tracking the workers' progress.
The goals, officials say, revolve around promoting a healthy diet and exercise at work, making sure worker health insurance plans promote proven and cost-effective practices and smoking cessation.
The goals were chosen because research shows about 80 percent of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and 40 percent of some cancers can be prevented by eating better, exercising and quitting smoking, the officials said.
Different programs will be rolled out over the next eight months to help workers improve their health.
"An investment in wellness and prevention activities can promote the health and well-being of employees as well as the bottom line," said Gov O'Malley, in a statement. "It is our responsibility as employers to provide our employees opportunities to improve their health while at the same time improving the bottom line for our businesses, our government and for our communities."