That’s the argument made by former Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser over at the Governing Institute:
More and more companies, in their efforts to contain employee health-care costs, are making a community’s obesity rate the most important factor in their business-location decisions, Dr. James Johnson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told attendees at a Center for Digital Government gathering last month. Dr. James Marks, senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provided some specifics about how companies base location decisions on a community’s health factors. IBM “opened a plant in Dubuque, Iowa, because the health-care costs there were the lowest in the nation,” Marks said in an interview on the foundation’s website. “A plant opened recently in Allentown, Pa., where the location was chosen because of the health of the community.”
So if you are looking to attract new businesses, you had better make sure that your community’s BMI is at least as robust as your broadband connections and highway network. You can read the full post here.