Impact of Obesity and Diabetes in the Workplace
In 2008, the annual healthcare cost of obesity in the US was estimated to be as high as 147 billion dollars a year. “Obese persons spend 77% more money on necessary medications than non-obese persons. According to a study published in October 2010 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, U.S. employee health and productivity costs associated to obesity are estimated at $73.1 billion annually.
Programs directed towards at risk individuals could reduce costs associated with obesity, but encourage employees at low risk to participate as well. Physical activity programs can reduce health risks in high risk individuals but help maintain healthy behaviors in low risk individuals and reduce risk of injury.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. One in every five health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diabetes, while one in ten health care dollars is attributed to diabetes.
People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.
Indirect Costs of Diabetes in 2007 account for:
The Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that people with prediabetes (higher than normal sugar levels, but not yet diabetes) can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by increasing activity levels and improving their diet. And, diet and exercise work better than medications.
Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association's Winning at Work - an employee program for diabetes prevention and management.
CDC Obesity Cost Calculator
The Family Safety & Health Employer
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