The High Cost of Employee Obesity

obesityAccording to a recent report on obesity by George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services, obese employees, on average, cost companies $4,879 annually for a woman and $2,646 for a man. When the value of lost life is added, the costs are even higher; $8,365 for women and $6,518 for men. The costs of being overweight are much lower, estimated at $524 for women and $432 for men.

Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30. The costs for women and men are nine and six times higher respectively than they are for an overweight person, defined as having a BMI between 25 and 29.

The report suggests that obese employees are more likely to cost employers more due to increased direct medical costs, absenteeism, presenteeism (time lost at work due to lowered productivity), short-term disability, disability pension insurance, premature mortality, and workers compensation.

There's no doubt that employers and society as a whole pays a high price for obesity. What do you think is the solution?

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