The Costs of Being Overweight – How Much Money Can a Healthy Diet Save You?
April 17, 2008
How much does a double cheeseburger, milkshake, and fries cost? While you may only pay a few bucks each time you buy it, eating that meal over and over can end up costing you a lot more than that in the long run.
Health Care Costs
Although we don’t think about it on a daily basis, our diet can actually have a big impact on our finances. Health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, diabetes, and heart conditions are expensive to treat and the price keeps going up.
The USDA released a report a few years ago that states that the medical costs that come as a result of obesity related problems are about $10,000 higher than they are for those with a healthy weight. Do you know anyone who has an extra $10,000 to spend?
Of course a person that eats a balanced diet and follows a healthy lifestyle can reduce those costs considerably. Not only will we save money it can potentially even save our life. Those sound like two pretty big motivators right there.
There are other costs to consider in addition to the actual doctor bills. If you’re not eating well or exercising regularly, your waist will grow over time and you’ll have to spend money on buying larger clothes. Plus size clothes sometimes come at a premium to standard sizes which can put a further strain on your wallet.
Life Insurance Rates
Obviously if clothing size was enough of a motivator there would be many more skinny people in the US so let’s look at another factor, the cost of life insurance. As the population becomes increasingly overweight and obesity related deaths rise this puts a strain on the resources of life insurance companies. This results in higher premiums for overweight individuals, a cost that can certainly add up over time.
Productivity and Psychological Costs
When you exercise your body creates endorphins that can do great things for your energy level and mental state. People that don’t work out and have resulting weight issues can have a harder time getting going and getting around which can definitely reduce their productivity.
Being overweight can also be mentally discouraging, dealing with this anxiety or frustration can take a toll on a person’s productivity and could even trigger deeper psychological issues.
A Drain on the Pocketbook
It’s obvious that there are many different costs of being overweight and unfortunately a large number of people in the US are experiencing at least some of these problems. There are around 127 million adults in the US who are overweight, 9 million of which are in the severely obese category. Just think about all the money those extra pounds are costing them.
Make an Investment in Your Health
Although some people will argue that it typically costs more to buy healthier foods and takes up more time than they have to exercise, hopefully this article has shown that being healthy just makes good financial sense. It’s worth it to invest your money in healthy meals, work out equipment, and exercise programs; they will pay off in the long run.
Also keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle can save a whole lot more than money. You’ll be able to have a more active, vibrant life with your loved ones and you’ll have the energy to do the things you love!
All posts by Ben Edwards