Around six million people could be putting themselves at risk of life-threatening illness through a failure to recognise they are clinically obese, believing they are simply overweight, the research reveals.
More than one-in-ten (14 per cent) of the 3,126 adults surveyed by Nuffield Health said that they associated the word ‘unemployable’ with people who are obese and almost the same amount (11 per cent) said that they felt discriminated against at work from colleagues due to their weight.
Interestingly, the findings also reveal that more than a third (38 per cent) of those surveyed who lost weight had said that it had a positive effect on their work.
Dr Andrew Jones, a GP and Managing Director Wellbeing for Nuffield Health, said, “Our research has shown us that obesity is a very real problem in the workplace and it impacts employee physical and mental wellbeing. We know obesity is a risk associated with both absenteeism and presenteeism, which is when an employee comes to work, but due to ill-health, their productivity is severely reduced.
“We hope this research highlights the need for more intervention and more help and support for those who are struggling with their weight. What is encouraging is that the data demonstrates that losing weight has a positive impact on someone’s working life.”