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Obesity: Stress on the Body And Economy

Posted Oct 11 2010 11:57am

There is no question about the effects that being overweight or obese has on the health of the body an health of the economy. Diet is probably the biggest factor contributing to the excess weight that is carried by too many people, and certainly a lack of fruits and vegetables in favor of unhealthy foods and/or beverages is the most common underlying cause - one reason why we recommend Juice Plus +, as it provides nutrients from a variety of healthy foods. On top of eating foods that have too many calories, and unhealthy ones at that, we are not moving enough - that is, a lack of regular exercise. Our sedentary lifestyles, including the more commonly job of sitting at the computer, is resulting in more and more of those consumed calories being added to our waistlines.  The cost to our health and our economy is spelled out here --

Obesity is expensive — for the person living with it, for the health-care system and now, according to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, for employers. The U.S. economy suffers a $73.1 billion hit as a result of an obese work force.

Researchers from Duke University followed normal-weight, overweight and obese full-time workers, measuring the financial consequences of medical expenditures, lost productivity on the job because of health problems (referred to as presenteeism) and missed work due to health problems (absenteeism). Across the board, obese workers had the most expensive health care, the most interruption to their productivity when on the job and the most days absent.

The more obese the worker, the more expensive he or she was to the company. The study found that while those with a body mass index, or BMI, over 35 account for 37% of the obese population, they were responsible for 61% of the total cost of obesity to employers. (Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher; morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI of 40 or above.)

"Presenteeism" — a lack of productivity while at work — accounted for 68% of the cost for obese men and 56% for obese women. Lest this reinforce the stereotype that heavy people are lazy, it should be noted that lost productivity among normal-weight people was also high and exceeded medical costs. (More on Time.com: More Obesity Fallout: Nearly 50 Million Americans with Arthritis)

"Our study provides evidence of yet another cost of obesity," said obesity researcher and study author Dr. Eric Finkelstein. "Employers should consider both the medical and productivity costs of obesity when thinking about investments in weight management or other wellness programs." (More on Time.com: Study: America Is Officially the Fattest Developed Country in the World). ( )

Final note: Take the time to get some exercise everyday. Not just three times a week as was once prescribed many years ago, but everyday. And being sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday is a sure way to support your health. By eating more of those foods each day, you will also naturally cut down on the amount of not-so-healthy foods and beverages consumed. While we do suggest adding Juice Plus + for the nutrients from a variety of those foods, it should go without saying that Juice Plus + is not a substitute for ripe, raw, fruits and vegetables.  Strive to live a healthy lifestyle.

The Health & Wellness Institute, PC
Try the Fruit, Vegetable, and Berry Blends

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