Impact of Obesity on Work Productivity in Different US Occupations: Analysis of the National Health and Wellness Survey 2014 to 2015

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The aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between workers’ body mass index and work productivity within various occupations.


Data from two administrations (2014 and 2015) of the United States (US) National Health and Wellness Survey, an Internet-based survey administered to an adult sample of the US population, were used for this study (n = 59,772). Occupation was based on the US Department of Labor's 2010 Standardized Occupation Codes. Outcomes included work productivity impairment and indirect costs of missed work time.


Obesity had the greatest impact on work productivity in Construction, followed by Arts and Hospitality occupations. Outcomes varied across occupations; multivariable analyses found significant differences in work productivity impairment and indirect costs between normal weight and at least one obesity class.


Obesity differentially impacted productivity and costs, depending upon occupation.

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