Study Shows Obese Employees And Their Issues Cost Employers Some Stacks

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Obesity in the workplace

If you’re obese and employed in America, know that your unhealthy eating habits are putting a strain on more than just your wallet.

Researchers are saying that in addition to the general strain obesity puts on the healthcare system, some of the health issues overweight people deal with also cost their jobs major paper.

Research released Friday by Duke University found that the cost to employers of obesity among full-time employees was $73.1 billion a year.

While previous estimates looked mainly at the direct health care costs of obesity, lead researcher Eric Finkelstein, deputy director for health services and systems research at Duke-National University of Singapore, and his colleagues found that “presenteeism,” or the lost productivity incurred when employees try to work despite health problems, cost employers a whopping $12.1 billion per year, nearly twice as much as their medical costs.

The solution the researchers suggest? Employers should give their full-time staff more incentives to drop the extra pounds.


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