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Jay Michael Snow, MD

The Costs of Obesity at Work

Posted on April 19, 2017, in Effects of Obesity

If you are questioning if you can afford weight loss surgery, it’s important to compare the direct and indirect costs of obesity with the cost of bariatric surgery. Direct costs include the price of health care and medication for obesity related diseases. Indirect costs represent the ways that obesity can impact your life financially, including time lost at work due to obesity related illnesses, and effects on emotional well-being. Below we explore the effects and costs of obesity in the workplace.

The Costs of Obesity at Work
The economic costs of obesity in the U.S. are staggering. Currently, the estimated prices associated with obesity range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year1. This includes indirect costs, such as negative effects on productivity. These effects are measured by the CDC, as absenteeism” (costs due to employees being absent from work for obesity-related health reasons), “presenteeism” (decreased productivity of employees while at work), and premature mortality and disability.

In the US, the costs of obesity-related absenteeism range between $3.38 billion and $6.38 billion annually2. The annual nationwide presenteeism costs were $358 per person3. Additionally, the annual cost for short term disability for obese employees is $349 more than normal-weight employees4.

It’s also worth noting that obese women suffer from wage gaps more than men with obesity. They earn relatively lower wages compared to female employees who are not struggling with obesity. The annual wage loss for male employees is negligible, but for female employees with obesity, the annual wage loss is $1,855, a 6% reduction in annual salary for a woman with a median annual wage of $32,450 in 20095.

Insurance and Bariatric Surgery
You may be surprised to find that many insurance plans can contribute towards the cost of weight loss surgery, and that financing options may be available for self-pay patients. When considering the financial and personal costs obesity over a lifetime, the expense of a weight loss surgery could end up being favorable in the long run.

Interested in Weight Loss? Contact Us for a Free Insurance Check

We have helped many people find long term weight loss solutions through our comprehensive treatments. If you would like to know more about the cost of weight loss surgery and learn if your insurance covers the procedure, please feel free to contact us.


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