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Obesity takes toll on work productivity

May 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study finds that obese people with diabetes make less productive workers than their healthier counterparts.Researchers looked at over 7,300 working adults, in terms of missed work time, reduced work effectiveness, and impairment of daily activities.

They found that obese workers with type 2 diabetes lost between 11 to 15 percent, or about 6 hours, of work time a week due to health problems. That's compared to a 9 percent, or 3.6 hours, loss of work time by those with normal weight.

"From an employer's perspective, this study provides evidence that workplace wellness programs that include weight loss and weight management would be beneficial for obese employees with or at risk for diabetes," said Kathleen Fox, president of Strategic Healthcare Solutions.

The study is published in the May/June issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

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