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Comparing work productivity in obesity and binge eating




To examine productivity impairment in individuals with obesity and/or binge eating.


Based on current weight and eating behavior, 117,272 employees who had completed a health risk appraisal and psychosocial functioning questionnaire were classified into one of four groups. Gender-stratified analyses compared groups on four measures: absenteeism, presenteeism, total work productivity impairment, and (non-work) activity impairment.


Overall group differences were statistically significant for all measures with lowest impairment in non-obese men and women without binge eating (n = 34,090, n = 39,198), higher levels in individuals without binge eating (n = 15,570, n = 16,625), yet higher levels in non-obese men and women with binge eating (n = 1,381, n = 2,674), and highest levels in obese men and women with binge eating (Group 4, n = 2,739, n = 4,176).


Health initiatives for obese employees should include screening and interventions for employees with binge eating. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)