America’s Weighty Problem Part 2: Health Care Costs

Over the past 30 years, employers have seen productivity costs and medical expenses skyrocket alongside the rate of obesity. Today, 66% of the U.S. adult population is overweight, and of those, 31% are obese. As a result, two-thirds of the adult population (and two-thirds of your workforce) are at increased risk for many serious ailments including type 2 diabetes; heart disease; hypertension; osteoarthritis; stroke; gallbladder disease; and endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancers.

Employers are estimated to spend at least $13B per year on health care costs for obese and overweight employees, who are responsible for an estimated 27% of annual trend in medical premiums paid by private employers. For each unit increase in BMI, direct health care costs increase by 2.3%, and the excess cost of obesity at a 1,000-person organization is about $285,000 per year.

To read more about America’s Weighty Problem, visit Free & Clear.


Ira S Wolfe