What Is the Co$t of Obe$ity?

I have talked about overweight and obesity statistics here repeatedly. By now, is there anyone who doesn’t know that 60 percent of us at overweight and 30 percent of us outright obese.

You can read chapter and verse on How Does Obesity Affect You? personally.


We have let ourselves go to the point that employers are now paying for it.

The Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal talks about the costs in detail. “A 2011 Gallup survey estimated obese or overweight full-time U.S. workers miss an additional 450 million days of work each year, compared with healthy workers, resulting in more than $153 billion in lost productivity.”

Typically 20 percent of a company’s employees drive 80 percent of the health-care costs. and about 70 percent of the costs are related to chronic conditions resulting from lifestyle choices like overeating or sedentary behavior.

Companies, trying to get control of their rocketing healthcare costs, are fighting back. Last month CVS shocked some employees by asking for personal health metrics, like body fat, blood sugar, etc. or pay a $600 penalty. Michelin is adding as much as $1000 to health care costs of employees with high blood pressure or large waistlines.

After talking and writing about this for over three years, I wonder what it will take to get folks to do something about their personal health.

If you are reading this blog, perhaps that can be a first step. Check out How to Lose Weight – And Keep it Off.



Filed under arteries, blood pressure, cardiovascular risk, fat, health care costs, healthy eating, healthy living, heart, heart disease, heart problems, living longer, Weight

4 responses to “What Is the Co$t of Obe$ity?

  1. Thanks, very informative blog. Obesity is growing to epidemic proportions in affluent societies. Cost of prosperity and unconscious mindset for food. I have written about therapeutic hunger, in the hope people can change the mindset of enjoying small amount of hunger and eat according to individual needs and capacity. The faulty logic of eating high calorie food and then burning it through exercise could be causing many harms.


    • Thanks. Obesity really is a scourge and horrible byproduct of affluence. I used to write about the grains markets years ago and when developing nations wanted to ‘upgrade’ their diets, they moved from grain consuming to meat consuming. Sadly, this raised their standard of living while lowering their lifespans.

      Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater knocking exercise. The irrefutable law of the body is ‘use it or lose it.’ We all need to exercise regularly. Remember, cardiovascular exercise actually sends oxygen to the brain and helps to create new neurotransmitters. Nothing else does that. The brain benefits from (and needs) exercise as much as the body.


      • I agree with you. I have recently written a book on Therapeutic Hunger and suggested a series of breathing and body weight exercises. Exercises are very important. Thanks for your note, Tony


      • Thanks, so glad to hear that you appreciate exercise, too. Some people think they can get healthy just by eating right and forget the importance of regular exercise. You book sounds interesting.


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