Strong ROI for weight management programmes
The cost of lifestyle health risks: obesity. Long DA, Reed R, Lehman G. J Occup Environ Med. 2006. 48: 244-251.
To work out approximate costs for lifestyle health risks, emphasising obesity-related costs.
Some 24.5 million full-time employees from 61 major US companies over four years.
Estimated costs for the following lifestyle risks: accidents/injuries, alcohol/substance abuse, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, poor prenatal care, lack of exercise, smoking, stress, and poor dental hygiene.
- 14.2% of male and 25.1% female lifestyle health risk claims related to obesity.
- The highest obesity costs were found for employees in the healthcare and retail/mixed sectors, aged 65 to 74 years of age, at US$17.29 and $16.49 per month, respectively.
- People at greatest risk for high obesity-related costs were women aged between 55 and 64 years from finance/consulting, manufacturing or civic/utility sectors, and women aged 65 to 74 from healthcare or retail/ mixed sectors.
What does this mean?
Addressing lifestyle health risks can help avoid migration to disease. Therefore, employers interested in wellness initiatives should first engage in weight management programmes, as the potential return on investment is estimated to be substantial.