More Than 32,000 Ohioans Working if Obesity Were Eliminated: Study

Columbus, OH – The Buckeye Institute released Obesity’s Impact on Ohio’s Workforce, which looked at the economic impact of obesity and found that more than 32,000 Ohioans would be working if obesity were eliminated.

Those newly employed Ohioans would generate nearly $20 million in additional revenues for the state.

“A healthy, productive workforce is key to sustaining a strong economy. But Ohio, like much of the country, suffers from an obesity problem that keeps thousands of workers out of the workforce,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute.

“The Buckeye Institute’s analysis revealed that the disease of obesity keeps more than 32,000 Ohioans unemployed, reduces state revenues by nearly $20 million annually, and costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year in Medicaid increased costs.”

With no single cure for obesity, The Buckeye Institute researchers recommended that policymakers take several pragmatic steps to make Ohio healthier and increase employment.

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  • Expand Access to Obesity Care: Access to education, counseling, medications, and surgery—according to nationally recognized, evidence-based standards—will improve care.
  • Eliminate Outmoded Licensing Requirements: Regulations that make it harder to access mental and physical obesity health care, prevention, and treatments should be repealed or more suitably tailored.
  • Track Performance: Various obesity treatments should be rigorously studied, and obesity data should be tracked across state agencies and programs and publicized.

Hederman continued, “Reversing Ohio’s obesity trend will help build a healthier, wealthier workforce and a more prosperous Ohio.”

ABOUT THE BUCKEYE INSTITUTE– Founded in 1989, The Buckeye Institute is an independent research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to advance free-market public policy in the states.


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