Article from on Cost of Weight Problems in Workforce

Obesity A More Costly Workplace Health Issue Than Smoking
Workers’ weight problems cost companies billions
03/10/2008 | | News

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Obesity not only takes its toll on health, it also has an impact on a company’s bottom line. A new report by The Conference Board, a business research group, finds that obese employees cost U.S. private employers an estimated $45 billion annually in medical expenditures and work loss.

The report examines the financial and ethical questions surrounding whether, and how, U.S. companies should address the obesity epidemic.

“Employers need to realize that obesity is not solely a health and wellness issue,” said Labor Economist Linda Barrington, Research Director of The Conference Board Management Excellence Program and co-author of the report.

“Employees’ obesity-related health problems in the United States are costing companies billions of dollars each year in medical coverage and absenteeism. Employers need to pay attention to their workers’ weights, for the good of the bottom line, as well as the good of the employees and of society,” she said.

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