Obese Individuals Miss More Work Due to Illness, According to Study

Researchers warn that obesity is having a significant impact on the labor market by increasing work absenteeism.

Vienna academics who examined over 122,000 individuals around Europe argue that more needs to be done by politicians to support individuals in maintaining a healthy weight.

The pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which manufactures the weight-loss injectable that the NHS is now prescribing, contributed funding to the study.

Denmark, Spain, and Italy were included in the study; the UK and France were not.

Due to insufficient data, Iceland, Ireland, and Malta were likewise left out.

The findings have not yet been released in a peer-reviewed publication, but they are being discussed this week at an obesity conference in Italy.

The majority of the data from the 26 nations that made in the study was gathered in 2019.

  • Record numbers of sick workers are quitting their jobs.
  • Over 25% of adults in the UK do not have a job.

While the results varied slightly by nation, obese individuals were generally more likely than normal-weight individuals to miss work owing to health problems.

The severity of obesity increased the odds.

Leaders in the nation should take note of the results, according to senior researcher Dr. Thomas Czypionka of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna: “Obesity has enormous negative effects on both health and the economy.

“With the current trajectory of obesity and childhood-obesity prevalence that many countries are on, policymakers need to take more action to fight obesity, using all evidence-based measures available.”

A third of the working-age population who are not employed are thought to be inactive due to long-term illness, which has already been identified as the primary cause of the workforce shortages impacting the UK economy.

The cost-of-living crises, stress, and COVID-19 have also been held accountable.

In the UK, about two thirds of adults are obese or overweight. Type 2 diabetes, elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and a heightened risk of respiratory, musculoskeletal, and liver diseases are all associated with obesity and poor dietary habits.