Objective: To estimate the impact of trends in smoking and obesity prevalence on productivity loss among petrochemical employees from 1980 to 2009. Methods: Smoking and obesity informations were collected during company physical examinations. Productivity loss was calculated as differential workdays lost between smokers and non-smokers, and obese and normal-weight employees. Results: During 1980-2009, smoking prevalence decreased from 32% to 17%, while obesity prevalence increased from 14% to 42%. In 1982, lost productivity from obesity was an estimated 43 days/100 employees, and for smoking, 65 days/100 employees, but by 1987, workdays lost due to obesity exceeded that attributable to smoking. In 2007, workdays lost from obesity were 3.7 times higher than for smoking. Conclusions: Owing to the increasing trend in obesity, the productivity impact on employers from obesity will continue to rise without effective measures supporting employee efforts to achieve healthy weight through sustainable lifestyle changes.
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