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Heavy Burden: Obesity Affects Earnings

Nov 3, 2010

Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as health, especially for women.

Doctors have long known that medical bills are higher for the obese, but that's only a portion of the real-life costs.

George Washington University researchers added in things like employee sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline, and found that the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man.

That's far more than the cost of being merely overweight, $524 for women and $432 for men, concluded the report, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total.

Why the differences between the sexes? Studies suggest larger women earn less than skinnier women, while wages don't differ when men pack on the pounds. That was a big surprise, said the study coauthor and health-policy professor Christine Ferguson. Researchers had expected everybody's wages to suffer with obesity.

-AP

ProjoFitnessBlog, The Providence Journal

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