The costs of obesity in the workplace.

Health Services and Systems Research Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.8). 09/2010; 52(10):971-6. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181f274d2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To quantify per capita and aggregate medical expenditures and the value of lost productivity, including absenteeism and presenteeism, because of overweight, and grade I, II, and III obesity among U.S. employees.
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the 2008 National Health and Wellness Survey.
Among men, estimates range from -$322 for overweight to $6087 for grade III obese men. For women, estimates range from $797 for overweight to $6694 for grade III. In aggregate, the annual cost attributable to obesity among full-time employees is $73.1 billion. Individuals with a body mass index >35 represent 37% of the obese population but are responsible for 61% of excess costs.
Successful efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity, especially among those with a body mass index >35, could result in significant savings to employers.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Due to irregular working hours shiftworkers experience circadian disruption and sleep restriction. There is some evidence to indicate that these factors adversely affect health through changes in snacking behaviour. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of sleep restriction, prior wake and circadian phase on snacking behaviour during a week of simulated shiftwork. Twenty-four healthy males (age: 22.0 ± 3.6 years, mean ± SD) lived in a sleep laboratory for 12 consecutive days. Participants were assigned to one of two schedules: a moderate sleep restriction condition (n=10) equivalent to a 6-h sleep opportunity per 24h or a severe sleep restriction condition (n=14) equivalent to a 4-h sleep opportunity per 24h. In both conditions, sleep/wake episodes occurred 4h later each day to simulate a rotating shiftwork pattern. While living in the laboratory, participants were served three meals and were provided with either five (moderate sleep restriction condition) or six (severe sleep restriction condition) snack opportunities daily. Snack choice was recorded at each opportunity and assigned to a category (sweet, savoury or healthy) based on the content of the snack. Data were analysed using a Generalised Estimating Equations approach. Analyses show a significant effect of sleep restriction condition on overall and sweet snack consumption. The odds of consuming a snack were significantly greater in the severe sleep restriction condition (P<0.05) compared to the moderate sleep restriction condition. In particular, the odds of choosing a sweet snack were significantly increased in the severe sleep restriction condition (P<0.05). Shiftworkers who are severely sleep restricted may be at risk of obesity and related health disorders due to elevated snack consumption and unhealthy snack choice. To further understand the impact of sleep restriction on snacking behaviour, future studies should examine physiological, psychological and environmental motivators.
    Accident Analysis & Prevention 03/2012; 45 Suppl:62-7. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2011.09.028 · 1.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whereas everyone recognizes that increasing obesity rates worldwide are driven by a complex set of interrelated factors, the marketing actions of the food industry are often singled out as one of the main culprits. But how exactly is food marketing making us fat? To answer this question, we review evidence provided by studies in marketing, nutrition, psychology, economics, food science, and related disciplines that have examined the links between food marketing and energy intake but have remained largely disconnected. Starting with the most obtrusive and most studied marketing actions, we explain the multiple ways in which food prices (including temporary price promotions) and marketing communication (including branding and nutrition and health claims) influence consumption volume. We then study the effects of less conspicuous marketing actions which can have powerful effects on eating behavior without being noticed by consumers. We examine the effects on consumption of changes in the food’s quality (including its composition, nutritional and sensory properties) and quantity (including the range, size and shape of the packages and portions in which it is available). Finally, we review the effects of the eating environment, including the availability, salience and convenience of food, the type, size and shape of serving containers, and the atmospherics of the purchase and consumption environment. We conclude with research and policy implications.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 05/2011; 5(3-3):113-196. DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1854370
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study employed stated-preference methods to elicit individuals’ program participation preference towards different financial incentive attributes. The results of this study show promise for the use of carefully designed incentive programs to raise participation in weight loss programs. Results show that a fungible payment form is important for the incentive to be effective in reach (i.e., cash and grocery gift-cards are preferred over gym passes and waivers of insurance co-payments). Furthermore, immediate payment is preferred over delayed payment.


Available from