Amazon's health efforts could involve food

In the roughly one year since Amazon purchased Whole Foods, the e-commerce giant has begun offering Prime members discounts on fresh produce, suggesting its venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase may involve subsidizing healthy foods for its employees, according to CNBC.

More than one-third of Americans are considered overweight or obese, and employers are often the ones taking the financial hit as their healthcare costs spike. The problem is due in part to a lack of access to affordable, nutritious food.

Some experts hypothesize part of Amazon's work with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan — which hopes to reduce employees' health costs and improve their health — could involve food.

Amazon has two options, according to Jason Langheier, CEO of Zipongo, a startup that works with employers to help them promote and subsidize healthy food:

1. Meal plans and kits. The e-commerce giant could develop a web portal designed for its employees to access healthy meal kits, meal plans, recipes and grocery delivery options. It could also offer subsidies on fresh groceries for people at risk for or suffering from a chronic disease, Mr. Langheier suggested. He added Amazon could even expand this effort by working with healthcare providers, insurers and other employers to offer healthy food subsidies.

2. Strategic advertising. Amazon could also devise ways to encourage its customers to buy healthier options online by increasing its advertising efforts and strategically placing products to pique their interests.

"From an employer's perspective, food is the one thing that their people will touch every day and they make purchasing decisions for their families every week," Mr. Langheier told CNBC. "And with its underbelly of e-commerce, Amazon can touch the one thing that has the greatest public health impact."

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