Obesity costs US employers $45 billion a year

According to an article in the New York Times, research published by the Conference Board and RTI International found that obesity costs U.S. employers an estimated $45 billion annually, but few employers are tackling the problem head on. About 14 percent of chief executives cite obesity as a top healthcare benefits concern according to the same report. RTI adds that it may not be worth the investment to help their obese employees slim down. Most employees stay at a job four to five years on average depending on the industry. At the same time, higher turnover industries will not get any return on investment if they establish a weight loss program, according to RTI. In sharp contrast, we recently noted that Japan is measuring waistlines and helping employees lose weight. Although a growing number of U.S. companies have wellness programs, only some help with weight loss and obesity, according to the Conference Board. 

Rand Corporation reports that obesity causes more chronic health problems than smoking and heavy drinking. While health costs can be a larger part of the problem, obese employees also are likely to miss more work, and are less mobile than their colleagues.

For more:
- check out the New York Times article