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Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on investment (ROI) analysis is a form of cost-benefit analysis that measures the cost of an intervention compared to the expected financial return of the intervention.7, 8

Obesity is linked to many co-morbid conditions resulting in increased health care costs. With high obesity rates in the United States, these health care costs can directly affect employer profits.4 It is estimated that employers spend $13 billion annually on the total cost of obesity.3 Approximately 9.1% of all health care costs in the United States are related to obesity and overweight.9

Workplace obesity prevention and control programs can be an effective way for employers to reduce obesity.10 They can produce a direct financial return on investment (ROI) by lowering health care costs, lowering absenteeism, and increasing employee productivity.11

Employers can also see other indirect benefits when they implement obesity prevention programs,12 including increased employee morale, worker retention and improve the organization's ability to recruit new employees in a competitive market.13 Further, if obesity prevention programs include employee dependents, they have the potential to positively influence dependents (spouses and children) and thereby reduce an organization's health care costs.

Additional Resources

Expert Interview with Larry Chapman, Principal and Co-Founder of Summex from WebMD* (PDF-888k)
This interview with Larry Chapman discusses the positive benefits to employees of health promotion programs in the workplace and highlights the areas in which such programs can impact financial outcomes of a company, including health care costs and employee productivity.

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* Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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