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    US Loses $8.65 billion in Work Productivity as Obesity Numbers Grow

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    Obesity represents a serious financial problem for the US government as it results in higher costs for medical care and frequent health-related work absences.

    MOSCOW, November 15 (Sputnik) — Obesity is having a negative influence on the competitiveness and effectiveness of the US workforce, as it is contributing to absenteeism among workers, resulting in $8.65 billion productivity loss a year, according to a Yale University study.

    "Obesity-attributable absenteeism among American workers costs the nation an estimated $8.65 billion per year," stated Yale University researcher Tatiana Andreyeva and her colleagues.

    According to the study, obese employees miss work more often than their normal-weight colleagues. They account for about 1.1 – 1.7 additional health-related absences annually and are a source of significant financial losses for their state. Previous studies have shown that obese people need additional medical services and account for higher healthcare spending. However, the recent research indicated that societal costs can be even much higher due to lower work efficiency and more frequent sick-lists.

    "Obesity-attributable costs of absenteeism are substantial and impose a considerate financial drain on states," the research stated, emphasizing that obesity problem is critical for the decision makers at local and national levels. The researchers also indicated the necessity of an in-depth analysis into how the relevant numbers differ across various industries and companies in order to work out an efficient strategy on obesity costs reduction.

    As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 35 percent of US adults are obese. This condition often leads to cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes and results in estimated additional medical costs of $147 billion a year.

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