Turns out there’s real dollars at stake for overweight employees. That may seem like a “dunh” moment, but it’s backed up by some hefty numbers: According to a new study, obese employees are costing their employers hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars a year. These losses come in the form of increased health care costs and higher absenteeism.
The study defined obese based on one’s “body mass index.” BMI is a measure of body weight relative to height, and seems to correlate with body fat. According to the National Institute of Health, a BMI of 30 or higher puts you in the obese category.
What’s particularly interesting is that these costs grow directly in proportion to one’s BMI: for example, the study found that the heaviest 3% of employees accounted for over 21% of health are costs. Ouch!
As this blog has previously mentioned, making healthy lifestyle choices not only makes one, well, healthy, but it also helps to hold down healthcare costs.