Obese workers' health care costs top those of smokers

Obese workers' health care costs top those of smokers
Smokers cost employers an additional $1,275 a year, while obese workers cost $1,850 more, study says.

(HealthDay) -- Obese workers have even higher health costs than smokers, a new study finds.

Researchers examined data from more than 30,000 Mayo Clinic employees and retirees who had continuous health insurance from 2001 to 2007.

The analysis revealed that both obesity and smoking were associated with higher . Average yearly were $1,275 more for smokers than and $1,850 more for obese people than those with normal weight.

Health care costs for morbidly obese people were up to $5,500 more a year than for normal weight people.

The additional health care costs associated with obesity appeared to be lower after the researchers adjusted for other accompanying health problems, but "this may lead to underestimation of the true incremental costs, since obesity is a risk factor for developing chronic conditions," wrote James Moriarty and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Employers are looking at ways to reduce health care costs -- such as quit-smoking and fitness programs -- and this study showed that both obesity and smoking led to persistently higher health care costs during the seven years examined by the researchers, the study authors said.

The study was published in the March issue of the .

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases outlines the health risks of being overweight.

Related Stories

Obesity and depression independently increase health costs

date Oct 31, 2011

Obesity and depression both dramatically increase health care costs, but they mainly act separately, according to a study published in the November 2011 Journal of General Internal Medicine by Group Health Research Instit ...

Nearly 10 percent of health spending for obesity

date Jul 27, 2009

(AP) -- Obesity's not just dangerous, it's expensive. New research shows medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone who's normal weight. Overall obesity-related health spending reaches ...

Recommended for you

Soldiers cite 'Medic!' as a top hearing priority

date 1 hour ago

'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

date 2 hours ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

date 5 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

Probing Question: What is umami?

date 5 hours ago

The next time you're at a dinner party and want to spice up the conversation, you might compliment the hosts on their umami-rich appetizers. Then wait a moment until someone invariably asks, "What's umami?"

Will the Affordable Care Act eliminate health disparities?

date 7 hours ago

Massachusetts' health reform may be a crystal ball for researchers and policymakers in forecasting the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act. Many see the ACA as the backbone of efforts toward closing the nation's health ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.