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Association of Binge Eating With Work Productivity Impairment, Adjusted for Other Health Risk Factors

Bedrosian, Richard C. PhD; Striegel, Ruth H. PhD; Wang, Chun MS; Schwartz, Steven PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182479f40
Original Articles

Objective: This study examined the association between binge eating and productivity impairment.

Methods: Using data drawn from individuals completing a health risk appraisal and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire, analyses examined associations between binge eating and obesity, health risks, and productivity impairment. Regression analysis tested associations between binge eating and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scores, adjusting for demographics, obesity, and health risks. Unstandardized regression coefficients estimated annual productivity loss due to binge eating using a hypothetical employer.

Results: Significant associations were found between binge eating and impairment. Adjusting for demographics, obesity, and other risks, binge eating remained a significant correlate of productivity impairment. Estimated annual productivity loss due to binge eating in a company of 1000 employees was $107,965.

Conclusions: Efforts to reduce productivity impairment need to target binge eating as a modifiable risk behavior.

Author Information

From Wellness & Prevention (Drs Bedrosian and Schwartz), Fort Washington, Pa; HealthMedia (Ms Wang), Ann Arbor; Mich; and the Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University (Dr Striegel-Moore), Middletown, Conn.

Address correspondence to: Richard Bedrosian, PhD, 41 Rawson Hill Dr, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 (

This work was supported through funding by Wellness & Prevention, a Johnson & Johnson Company.

Dr Bedrosian, Ms Wang, and Dr Schwarz are employees of Wellness and Prevention, a Johnson & Johnson Company. Drs Bedrosian and Schwarz are shareholders in Johnson & Johnson. Dr Striegel was compensated by Wellness & Prevention for her work on this article.

The opinions expressed in this article are the authors' and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Wellness & Prevention Inc, HealthMedia Inc, or Wesleyan University.

Authors Bedrosian, Striegel, Wang, and Schwartz have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine