Researchers Pinpoint More Obesity Costs In Workplace
One hidden cost of obesity is lost productivity in the workplace - a problem with a price tag as high as $73.1 billion, according to a new study, Agence France-Presse reports. "The dollar sum lost is the 'equivalent of hiring 1.8 million workers a year at 42,000 dollars each, which is roughly the average annual wage of US workers,' found the study led by Eric Finkelstein, deputy director for health services and systems research at Duke-National University of Singapore." The sum includes "presenteeism," meaning workers who show up, but are unproductive, medical expenditure and absence from work (10/7).
ABC News adds, "Presenteeism was also the biggest cost among employees of healthy weight, but researchers found that obese workers accounted for a disproportionately larger share of overall presenteeism, absenteeism and medical expenses. What's more, severely obese individuals with a body mass index greater than 35 accounted for 61 percent of all obese employee costs, though they represent only 37 percent of the overall obese population." Past studies typically only looked at direct medical costs and absenteeism to put a price on obesity (Hutchison, 10/8).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.