Obese workers' health care costs top those of smokers

April 13, 2012
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 .

Explore further: Obesity and depression independently increase health costs

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

October 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 Institute ...

Obesity accounts for 21 percent of medical care costs

April 5, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Obesity now accounts for almost 21 percent of U.S. health care costs -- more than twice the previous estimates, reports a new Cornell study.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 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.