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Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

Obese Workers Costing Connecticut Millions in Lost Productivity

A study estimated $120.6 million in lost productivity due to obesity-related absenteeism in Connecticut.

Absenteeism among obese workers is costing the nation billions in lost productivity, according to a new study.

Researchers at Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity took a look at two sets of data, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance, and concluded that obese workers miss more work than their normal weight counterparts.

"For normal-weight people, we estimate about four days on average that they basically miss due to their health, but for obese people, it's five to six days a year," said Tatiana Andreyeva, lead author of the study and the Rudd Center's director of economic initiatives.

The study said that translates to an estimated $8.65 billion a year in lost productivity. In Connecticut alone, obesity-related absenteeism accounted for $120.6 million a year.

Andreyeva said that although the medical reasons why obese people missed more work than workers of normal weight was not covered in her study, obesity-related illnesses could account for those extra sick days.

"What we could speculate is that it could be high blood pressure, or heart disease, or diabetes," Andreyeva said. "High blood pressure is one example. If you have high blood pressure -- and many obese people do -- and you are not feeling well, you're likely not to go to work."

The report concluded that obesity is a financial drain on states in both lost productivity and health-related costs, and urged more research in how to curb obesity through state level policy and through employer and industry initiatives.

The study is published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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