Obesity is costly to employers in terms of higher medical costs, loss of productivity, increased medical sick leaves, and premature medical retirements. Specifically, research shows that:

  • Overweight and obese employees have higher rates of sick leaves and disability. Workplace injuries are more frequent among overweight and obese employees. Healthcare costs, based on claims data analyses, are also consistently higher for employees with higher body mass indices. Thus, obesity is an important driver of costs in the workplace.

  • BMI (Body Mass Index: Weight in kilograms / Square of height in meters) is an independent predictor for short-term disability events: being overweight and obese raise the odds by 26% and 76%, respectively.

  • "Optimal BMI" for employees occurs at about 25 to 27 kg/m2, above which the indirect and direct costs to employers increase with increasing BMI.

  • "Obese workers have the highest prevalence of work limitations (6.9% vs. 3.0% among normal-weight workers), hypertension (35.3% vs. 8.8%), dyslipidemia (36.4% vs. 22.1%), type 2 diabetes (11.9% vs. 3.2%), and metabolic syndrome (53.6% vs. 5.7%)." Furthermore, increased prevalence rates were also found among those classified as overweight

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