Living and working with obesity

Are employers playing their part?

Bajorek Z, Mason B, Edwards M, Bevan S  |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Jul 2021

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This report is the second output of the PURPOSE programme (Promoting Understanding and Research into Productivity, Obesity Stigma and Employment). The programme, funded by Novo Nordisk, focusses on improving national productivity levels via better employment and labour market outcomes for those living with overweight or obesity.

The research considers the role of workplace health programmes which focus on supporting those living and working with obesity. It explores the evidence of their effectiveness and their impact on both employee and organisational outcomes.

Based on an extensive desk-based review of the evidence IES researchers have looked at previous studies which examine a number of themes:

  • Types of workplace health promotion with a focus on obesity and weight management.
  • The business, legal and moral cases for action by employers.
  • Barriers to implementation of work site health promotion focusing on obesity.
  • The effectiveness of these programmes both for individuals and organisations.
  • The implications of workplace programme design and implementation on stigma and on post Covid ways of working. 

Novo Nordisk has provided funding to the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) to undertake the creation of the PURPOSE programme, including the production of this report. Novo Nordisk has had no influence over the content of this report or this programme. IES retains full and final editorial control over this report and all aspects of the PURPOSE programme.