Data contradicts assertions on obesity and illness rates

While Richard Essery is entitled to his view that overweight employees are not less productive and more susceptible to illness, this is not supported by research (‘Lack of vital statistics leads to fattist thinking’, Letters, Personnel Today, 11 September).

A number of authoritative studies from sources including the British Heart Foundation clearly demonstrate the link between obesity and secondary illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and back problems. For example, according to the National Audit Office, obesity results in more than 18 million sick days a year.

And the Kings Fund recently revealed that future obesity levels for the UK will be higher than originally predicted, which will have a significant impact on the nation’s health and wealth.

Chris Jessop
Chief executive,
Nuffield Proactive Health

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