Obesity among workers in US costing the nation $8.65 billion a year in lost productivity: study
Doctor examining obese patient (Shutterstock)

Obesity among workers in the United States is costing the nation $8.65 billion a year in lost productivity, according to a study released Friday.


The study by Yale University researchers is the first to give state-level estimates of the cost of worker absenteeism due to obesity.

Those costs ranged from $14.4 million in Wyoming to $907 million in California, it said, adding that obesity accounts for 9.3 percent of all absenteeism costs nationwide.

"Understanding all economic costs of obesity, including lost productivity, is critical for policymakers working on obesity prevention at any level," said lead author Tatiana Andreyeva.

The report said overweight people often had to miss work for health reasons.

"Quantifying not just obesity-related health care costs, but also economic costs, is essential for informed decision-making," she added in a statement.

Nearly 35 percent of American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates the annual medical cost of obesity at $147 billion.

The Yale study appears in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.