• Article

A return-on-investment simulation model of workplace obesity interventions

Objective: To calculate return-on-investment (ROI) from workplace obesity interventions, employers require information about costs saved by the intervention. This article presents a simulation model used to calculate ROI for workplace obesity interventions.

Methods: We estimated annual savings in medical expenditures and absenteeism costs by amount of average weight loss for a nationally representative company. We also present several examples that use the model to evaluate the ROI for published workplace obesity interventions.

Results: Across all overweight and obese employees, 5% weight loss would result in a reduction in total annual costs (medical plus absenteeism) of $90 per person.

Conclusions: The results suggest that low-cost policy or environmental change interventions in worksites may be more likely to be cost saving than high cost, individually targeted behavioral change interventions unless they result in substantial weight loss.


Trogdon, J., Finkelstein, E., Reyes, M., & Dietz, WH. (2009). A return-on-investment simulation model of workplace obesity interventions. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 51(7), 751-758. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a86656