A recent Brookings Institute study projects a societal cost of more than one trillion dollars for obesity if young people who are obese maintain that obesity throughout their adult lives.
“The study, which exhaustively examines data related to obesity, said its formula shows that per person, the cost to society of an obese person is $92,000 greater than for someone who isn’t obese. Using that estimate, it projected the cost over the lives of the 12.7 million obese youths in the U.S. to arrive at the final number.”
The obesity study also pointed to high related costs for business, as reflected in increased absenteeism, increased presenteeism, disability claims, and overall lower productivity.
The full study can be accessed here:
An In-Depth Look at the Lifetime Economic Cost of Obesity
Other recent studies corroborate the business costs of obesity. A study reported last year in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight.
“Compared with an employee with a body mass index of 25, an employee with a BMI of 35, which is considered obese, has nearly double the risk of filing a short-term disability claim or a workers’ compensation claim. Normal weight employees cost an average of $3,830 per year in covered medical claims, sick days, short-term disability and workers compensation while a morbidly obese person costs employers more than double that at $8,067.”