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Obesity Costs More Than $8 bn in Lost US Productivity: Research

Update Date: Nov 16, 2014 09:02 PM EST

Obesity among workers in the United States costs nation $8.65 billion per year in lost productivity, according to a new study. 

The study is first to provide state-level estimates of the cost of worker absenteeism due to obesity. 

Those costs ranged from $14.4 million in Wyoming to $907 million in California, adding that obesity accounts for 9.3 percent of all absenteeism costs nationwide, according to the press release.

"Understanding all economic costs of obesity, including lost productivity, is critical for policymakers working on obesity prevention at any level," said lead author Tatiana Andreyeva, in the press release.

According to the study, overweight people often had to miss work for health reasons. 

"Quantifying not just obesity-related health care costs, but also economic costs, is essential for informed decision-making," Andreyeva added in a statement.

Around 35 percent of American adults are obese, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. It estimates the annual medical cost of obesity at $147 billion. 

The study has been published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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