The ups and downs of weight costs have been discussed, analyzed and popularized by the on-going fad diets and “fixes” lurking on our market shelves. It seems everyone wants a piece of the pie when it comes to the profit relating to losing weight, maintaining weight, staying fit and trim.
Weight and finances have been discussed at length by many organizations and experts. But there is little talk about the staggering amount spent on the individual costs of being obese in today’s world. According to research from The George Washington University, it’s reported that the estimated costs of being of obese is still on the rise due to weight loss procedures, programs, quantified indirect and direct costs, and lost productivity at work.
In other words, the price tag for a high BMI continues to climb upward. High “obesity” is defined by a body mass index (BMI). Just to put this rating in perspective, an “overweight” individual is considered obese with a BMI over 30. Normal range is between 25–29. Now, keep in mind that the BMI is a measuring tool and not an exact calculation. But, it’s a good measuring tool to use along with literally measuring yourself with a tape measure.
How many of you resolved to reduce your BMI this year? The numbers are outstanding when doing the simple math of the business of obesity. In regards to totals for obesity, individual costs are $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men each year. The overall annual costs of being overweight are $524 for women and $432 for men. Adding the value of lost life to these yearly totals makes the price tag even higher: $8,365 and $6,518 for women and men, respectively.
That’s a high price tag in dollars, but an even higher price tag in life experiences….lost!
That’s nine times the normal cost for women and six times more in cost for men, both with a healthy BMI. Studies also showed that women are affected much more than men when it comes to obesity and job-related costs, including lost wages, absenteeism, and disability.
We are talking about non-medical costs of obesity. Direct medical costs are already super-sized adding up to 66% more for women and 80% for men. So at what cost are you willing to get healthy?
The results revealed that these non-medical, obesity related costs include wages, short-term disability, disability insurance, sick leave or absenteeism, productivity, gasoline use, life insurance premiums, and the value of lost life due to premature death.
Instead of throwing staggering dollar amounts out here for our eyes to glaze over and numb our brains, it’s time to face up to the fact that it costs more money to support obesity over the long term sustainability of good balanced health. The old adage is still true, “we are what we eat”. If we eat unhealthy and large, there will be large costs to pay for the choice. If we eat healthy choices, then we get to pay for good healthy choices and what good it brings to our life.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle merely costs what you are willing to invest into it. Think of yourself like a 401K plan. How do you want to retire? Wealthy and healthy or poor and unhealthy. It comes down to two things…CHOICE and ACTION! You must invest in yourself.
The bottom line is that obesity profits the economy, yes, but not in the things that matter. Taking care of your body is important. The bigger problem in obesity is that it was found that 60% of Americans are at an unhealthy weight, with one-third of the population classified as obese. If we continue at this rate, by 2030 half of the population will be obese. Read that again! Half! That’s one out of every two people you know!
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and some types of cancer are among the leading causes of death. Frankly, friends, we can’t afford this! We can’t afford to super-size this problem. Your health, your family’s health, you the individual, and the people that make up this earth, must decide that our health is too important of an asset. We have to come to grips with making changes that solve the long term problems over the quick fixes. We have to grapple with our appetites because we can’t afford to laugh this problem away and increase the rising costs of obesity. No more default back to those failed resolutions.
Obesity affects us all, in many weighty ways. It’s robbing us of our most important resource, life itself. Education helps but good decisions start with acknowledging that we need to lose weight. Basic principles still work with common sense. You are what you eat. You take in junk, you will be a food junkie. Getting fit is hard work…in the beginning, but it’s worth it. It takes work to maintain yes, but this is a lifestyle change. The end result it worth it. Stick with the plan, and have plan to succeed. Practice, practice, practice!
It’s about choosing life over pleasure. A worthy investment each and every bite.
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