The Financial Toll of Excess Weight


By: Nikki Nies

I was recently at a neighbor’s house, perusing her Money magazine that was laying on her coffee table.  I’m always up to hear the latest tips on money, yet I wasn’t expecting to read an article on obesity in money magazine.  Yet, there it was, in Money magazine, there was an article called The Economics of Fat to Thin.  With more than 2/3 of Americans overweight or obese, of course, I had to read it.

Some scary statistics, such as:

  • According to the U.S. Center for Disease and Control and Prevention, being obese elevates the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer
  • Annually costs the government an additional $450 billion
  • An overweight person tend to consume more calories, with added costs of an additional $90 billion a year
  • Employers and employees pay a higher life insurance premium; pay out more for  those who are overweight or obese for workers’ compensation
  • The obese spend 42% more on medical care article-2531797-1A5C3A8800000578-940_634x366
  • 77% more on medications than those with healthy weights
  • May spend 48% more on hospital stays
  • The severely obese will have an additional $3000-$10000 in medical costs
  • Obese earn up to 6% less than their thinner counterparts
  • The obese are 1.7 times more likely than leaner peers to take 7 or more sick days
  • “Plus size” and “big and tall” clothes are often more expensive since they require more fabric
  • May need to pay for an additional plane ticket for 2 seats
  • Excess weight can result in decreased fuel efficiency, every 100 lbs could lessen miles per gallon by up to 2% stated by US Energy Department
  • The morbidly obese may deduct 8-10 years from their life span
  • Those with BMI above 30 have 50-100% increased risk of premature death compared to those with healthy weigh

I liked this article because I wasn’t expecting it from  Money magazine.  Their in depth evaluation and impact of excess weight on one’s wallet is eye opening and provides an eye opening additional angle on the problems people can avoid by living a healthier life.


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