Obesity Crisis Costing British Industries Billions Per Year

Jan 4 2017

Darren Best

Not only does this take a toll on our health and lifestyle, but it proves to be detrimental to some of Britain’s industries. Those who are overweight have a higher chance of becoming ill, and therefore are more likely to take time off for sickness than healthy individuals. It was reported by that absences due to lifestyle related diseases are costing the economy an estimated £8.2 billion a year  It has also been discovered that those who are obese often suffer problems in the workplace; such as low levels of energy, reducing productivity; as well as discrimination and decreasing work morale.

The ever expanding obesity crisis corresponds to multiple lifestyle factors in this day and age. People have become increasingly reliant on technology, making us less active; and the lunch time break is on the brink of becoming non-existent in many offices. It was discovered that only 30% of workers are taking breaks for lunch, reducing activity levels in jobs that are already so dormant. With one in five jobs in the UK, desk based these statistics really do take a toll on our waist lines.

However, activity levels are not the only factors that equate to the growth in obesity. decided to explore this further, to discover which industries are most at risk of being effected by Britain’s obesity epidemic.


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Our research highlighted that those working in administration were at the highest risk of becoming obese, with a massive 77% in the industry being overweight or obese. This is not surprising when comparing it against factors equating to weight gain. Administrative roles involve mundane work, allowing for little activity in both the mind and body. Although hours tend to be shorter than those of doctors or real estate workers, it means making more time to stay active out of work. 

Doctor Alison Tedstone, director of Diet and Obesity at Public Health England claims “Obesity is closely linked to deprivation levels”. With the average income level of those in admin being significantly lower than the average UK wage, it is definitely a contributing factor. 

Contrastingly, leisure and hospitality services are deemed the least likely to be at risk. The role itself tends to have high levels of activity, with jobs such as waitressing or fitness instructors maintaining a vigorous lifestyle. Not only is this a major factor, but additionally hours rarely go above 40, with not much proven overtime. This allows for active hours outside of work, as well as on the job. Ultimately even the industry least at risk recvealed shocking statistics of those overweight.

Darren Best, MD of has responded to these figures, claiming “Multiple industries are losing millions of pounds a year due to workers being increasingly absent from sickness, as well as an advance in prejudice against those overweight. Managers must encourage their employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle both in and out of the office. We encourage our employees to get out of the office during lunch hours, which not only keeps you active, but refreshes the brain, keeping our employees productive. It is vital that senior staff and managers take time out of their schedule to do this, influencing a healthy workforce.”  


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Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock/Creativa Images

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