The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.

By Truven Staff

An Overwieght US Workforce Costs Employers

A recent Thomson Reuters  identified an overweight and obese workforce as having the largest impact on employer health care spending. The Thomson Reuters takes into account each year how body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, tobacco use and alcohol use influence employer healthcare spending.  Unhealthy behaviors among the US workforce cost employers a total of 3 each year, costs linked to obesity account for nearly 70% of that expenditure. Medical costs associated with obesity were reported as costing employers 5 per employee annually in 2010.
But despite the ever present goal to reduce health care costs for employers and employees alike, statistical data from over the years indicates that pant sizes won’t be the only thing going up if we continue on our current trajectory. A graph included in theshows a steady increase in the obesity population since the late 1980’s. In 2007, the CDC reported that . Respectively,  top the list of the most obese states in 2010, all weighing in with over 30% of the total state population suffering from some form of obesity. Raymond Fabius, chief medical officer of Thomson Reuters, is quoted in the , “Obesity continues to be a prevailing problem, one that will continue to plague employers and insurers alike until we find a way to stem this epidemic.”
In a feeble attempt to stop the progress of what is widely considered an obesity epidemic, the government has set a national goal to lower the percentage of obese individuals in each state to under 15%.  As of 2010, even the state with the lowest obesity percentage, , missed the mark by 6%.
It appears that cutting health care costs may be as simple as shedding a few pounds…
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