A new study shows that working your way to a healthy weight can help save up to more than $30,000 every year! This should be an added motivation to obese and overweight people who previously felt that good health was the main reason they needed to lose excess weight.
Obesity Is Fatal, And Here’s Why
Obesity is essentially a disaster waiting to happen. This chronic health condition opens the door to a host of other serious chronic health conditions. These obesity-induced health conditions happen to be highly fatal; and that makes obesity fatal. Obesity has been linked to issues like heart attacks, some forms of cancer, respiratory problems, high blood pressure and other life-threatening health conditions.
It Is Also Costly
Obesity is not just a danger to health, it is also a significant expense for many people. There are two ways in which this condition takes your money – by lowering your productivity, and by increasing your medical costs.
Productivity Costs of Obesity
Obese people report higher absenteeism rates than people of normal weight. As mentioned above, obesity is a source of many health issues, and these end up making people miss work. In fact, about 1 in 10 people who are absent from work have obesity to blame for their absenteeism.
Productivity does not just go down when obese people don’t show up at work, but also when they show up, all due to a situation described as presenteeism. In this scenario, the obese people go to work, but their work performance is usually sub-par because of the toll this health condition has on them.
Because obese people are typically dealing with some health issue or another, their performance is usually a lot lower than normal people. Some studies estimate the productivity costs of obesity at over $70 billion a year in the U.S.
Medical Costs of Obesity
In monetary values, the medical costs of obesity far exceed its productivity costs. Estimates tell us that the U.S. loses as much as $210 billion years to obesity each year. Also, on average, an obese person will spend nearly 50% more on medical costs in comparison to someone with a healthy weight.
The increased medical costs are not specific to obese people only. Everyone else has to pitch in and pay higher insurance premiums so that insurance companies can cope with the increased medical needs of obese people. Billions of taxpayer dollars also end up being spent on obesity-related issues.
What the Researchers Found
Thanks to the study, researchers have now found a figure that explains just how much an obese person can save by trying to attain a healthy weight. In average figures, losing weight in order to attain a healthy weight would help you save about $30,000 a year.
People aged 50 have the most to gain by losing excess weight as they can save about $36,000 a year. However, the cost saving benefits of an obese person striving to attain a healthy weight are evident among all wage groups.
An obese 40-year old stands to save $31,447 every year by attaining a healthy weight. A 20-year old would be in a position to save $28,020 for making a similar adjustment in their fitness status. But the study also proved that any amount of weight loss has some cost benefits to offer obese people.
That is why a 40-year old who shifts from being obese to being overweight can save $18,262 per year, while a 20-year old who manages the same can save about $17,655 every year. So, any weight that an obese person loses does contribute to the lowering of their medical and productivity costs.
Where The Findings Have Been Published
The results of the study were published in the most recent issue (September 28 2017) of Obesity Journal. The research was carried out by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Way Forward
Clearly, helping people attain healthy weight can result in billions of dollars saved. So, policy makers and all involved parties should invest in proven weight loss programs in a bid to reduce obesity levels. The weight loss industry has come a long way; and it is now possible to tailor these programs to age, gender, health status and other factors to improve effectiveness across the board.
And since obesity is also expensive at an individual level, people dealing with this health condition should try clinically proven programs like Weight Watchers (read more) and Nutrisystem (read more). Such weight loss programs are helping people lose weight in a healthy way and reap all the health benefits linked to having a healthier weight. That also means the cost saving benefits unveiled through the study discussed above will be evident to such people.