A morbidly obese employee costs his or her employer approximately $4,000 more in health care and related costs every year than an employee of normal weight, according to a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Kentucky ranks ninth in obesity among the states.
As might be expected, the study also found that obese workers with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol brought more costs than obese workers without those conditions.
“Someone who is overweight or obese and also has diabetes is more likely to file a short-term disability claim compared to someone who doesn’t have diabetes but is overweight or obese,” said Karen Van Nuys, Ph.D., lead co-author of the study and economist at Precision Health Economics in Los Angeles.
While employees who are of average weight incur approximately $3,830 each year in medical claims, sick days, short-term disability and workers compensation, and morbidly obese employees incur about $8,067 every year.