Effect of Workplace Weight Management on Health Care Expenditures and Quality of Life

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Abstract

Objective:

We examined the effectiveness of the weight management program used by the University of Minnesota in reducing health care expenditures and improving quality of life of its employees, and also in reducing their absenteeism during a 3-year intervention.

Methods:

A differences-in-differences regression approach was used to estimate the effect of weight management participation. We further applied ordinary least squares regression models with fixed effects to estimate the effect in an alternative analysis.

Results:

Participation in the weight management program significantly reduced health care expenditures by $69 per month for employees, spouses, and dependents, and by $73 for employees only. Quality-of-life weights were 0.0045 points higher for participating employees than for nonparticipating ones. No significant effect was found for absenteeism.

Conclusions:

The workplace weight management used by the University of Minnesota reduced health care expenditures and improved quality of life.

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