EU Study Reveals How Obesity Relates to Sick Days

A major European study has shown that obese workers are more likely to take days off through ill health than those at a healthy weight. 

63.8% of UK Adults Overweight

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Perugini

The study’s concern is the economic impact. Nearly 64% of UK adults are overweight, making the workforce particularly vulnerable to sickness absence. 

The Greater the BMI, the Greater the Absence of Frequency

Image Credit: Shutterstock / VGstockstudio

The figures show that being overweight leads to an average 12% increase in time away from work. These figures climb dramatically as the person’s weight and BMI increase.

High BMI Has Huge Impact on Sickness

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

The results showed people with a BMI of 30-35 were 36% more likely to miss work. Those with a BMI of 35-40 were 61% more likely to take time off. People with a BMI of 40 or above were 147% more likely.

Length of Sickness Absence Also an Issue

Image Credit: Shutterstock / HBRH

The study clearly showed that the overweight and obese staff members were significantly more likely to take more than a week of sick per year than their normal-weight colleagues. 

UK Focussed Analysis Shows Frightening Figure

Image Credit: Shutterstock / JuliusKielaitis

Frontier Economics was commissioned to provide a comprehensive overview of the cost of adult obesity in the UK. Their analysis led to an “estimated annual cost to the UK of people living with obesity and overweight is £98 billion.”

Concerns for Future Costs if Problem Isn’t Addressed

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wutzkohphoto

Worryingly, if the issue isn’t addressed, it’ll only get more expensive. The team behind the analysis said that “the cost could rise by about 10 per cent in real terms between 2021 and 2040, from £97.9 billion to £109.4 billion per annum.”

Industry Experts Share Concerns

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

Kat Jenner, from the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “This research lays it bare – high rates of obesity-related disease is driving down economic productivity, with devastating economic impacts.”

Pressure on Government to Help

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nata.dobrovolskaya

She continued, “Prioritising the nation’s food-related ill-health is vital for any government serious about improving wellbeing, increasing growth and ensuring the sustainability of the NHS.”

Large Data Set Gives Study Credibility

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

The findings are based on a multinational study of 122,598 people. They came from 26 European countries and were selected from 147 million people in employment.

Conclusions Clear and Prompt Action

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sergey Nivens

Siegfried Eisenberg, Dr. Thomas Czypionka, and colleagues produced the study. They concluded: “Overall, overweight and obesity have a significant impact on the working population and thus on productivity losses and increased economic burden.”

The Global Cost of Obesity Is Getting Higher

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Angyalosi Beata

In 2023, the World Obesity Atlas published figures saying the global costs of obesity were $1.96tn in 2020 and would rise to $4.32tn by 2035. For perspective, the third biggest economy on the planet (Germany) in 2023 was Germany, with a GDP of $4.2tn.

Government Urged to Take Action

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tsuguliev

Richard Sloggett from Future Health consultancy said: “When setting priorities for the health mission across No 10, Treasury and the Department of Health, reducing obesity rates needs to be right at the top of the list.”

Curbing Obesity Important for Economic Growth

Image Credit: Shutterstock / chayanuphol

Sloggett also said: “The dash for growth that the next government needs to deliver will not work unless it is underpinned by a clear and system-wide obesity strategy. Implementing obesity policies that are isolated, much delayed and watered down will not cut it.”

Obesity Strains the NHS

Image Credit: Shutterstock / AC Manley

The reality is that obesity is also a condition that brings about significant comorbidities. Obese people are far more likely to suffer from cancer, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Healthier Nation Means Reduced Waiting Times 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / KingTa

At a time when treatment waiting lists are the longest they’ve ever been, getting the nation fitter and healthier would be key to reducing the burden on the healthcare system. Reducing the number of people needing treatment would be a huge boost. 

Obesity Needs to Become a Government Priority

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Claudiovidri

Data from the House of Commons Library shows, “Since 1993 the proportion of adults in England who are overweight or obese has risen from 52.9% to 64.3%, and the proportion who are obese has risen from 14.9% to 28.0%.”

Action Now, Before It’s Too Late

Image Credit: Shutterstock / blvdone

As the population age, we need it to keep working for longer. It can only do this if it’s fitter and healthier, so these long-standing health issues need to be tackled now, before it’s too late.

25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films

Remember the days when you could freely discuss just about anything without fear of sparking controversy? Well, those days are long gone. In today’s hyper-sensitive world, there are topics so fraught with tension that even mentioning them can lead to heated debates and hurt feelings. 25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Selway

Ever had a car that spent more time with the mechanic than on the road? A car that turned every journey into a game of “Will we actually get there?” If so, you might just see a familiar face (or should we say, chassis) in our countdown to the most unreliable British car in history. Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

“Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has warned that Britain will become “unrecognizable,” criticizing the amount of work visas the Home Office has approved, despite only being removed from her role in November. “Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

Image Credit: Shutterstock / HappySloth

Step into the time machine and set the dial to the 1970s, a decade of disco, bell-bottoms, and some rather questionable choices. While the ’70s gave us iconic music and groundbreaking TV, not everything from this groovy era would get a green light today. 20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Navigating the UK university landscape is like deciphering a complex code of rankings, reviews, and reputations to uncover where you’ll not just learn, but truly flourish. Whether you’re drawn to the historic halls of Oxford or the creative buzz of Goldsmiths, finding your perfect fit is about aligning your aspirations with the unique offerings of each institution. 20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

The post EU Study Reveals How Obesity Relates to Sick Days first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / SeventyFour.

Leave a Comment