Your Obesity Can Burn a Big Hole in Your Pocket
Obesity will cost the US economy about $147 billion this year. That is a huge amount of money. You may not be able to relate to the huge cost because you are not affected, and the economy can feel so impersonal. So let’s look at how an obese person spends more than a normal person, so you can better understand the cost involved.
Food: This one is obvious. In almost all cases, an obese person is obese because he/she eats more than is necessary. Naturally, their food expenses will be higher.
Now, some people say that obesity is a result of eating fast food (partly true), and since fast food is cheaper than healthy food, the food costs of obese people are less than normal people. This is false. Fast food chains provide portions that are larger than needed. For the same amount of money, you can get just the right quantity of healthy food.
Health: A recent release by the CDC said that obese Americans spend $1500 more on medical care than normal-sized people. Obese people are prone to more lifestyle diseases than others. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, and hormonal imbalances all haunt obese people. This leads to increased hospital costs.
The $1500 mentioned is the out-of-pocket expenses for the obese person, apart from Medicare and Medicaid costs, which are paid by the taxpayer.
Work: It is a well known fact that obesity decreases the work efficiency of a person. The annual cost of decreased productivity for each obese worker is about $500. An obese person is also more likely than others to be absent from work due to health reasons, resulting in more economic loss.
It is very unfortunate when somebody cannot utilize their talents and skills because of difficulties as a result of their weight. On top of being a burden to the economy, they will face problems in increasing their own earnings as well.
Daily living: An obese person needs everything larger than normal. They need bigger clothes, which cost more. Sometimes, they may have to buy two tickets to travel by air or by rail to accommodate for their extra size. The furniture in their home may have to be extra-large and extra-sturdy to support the obese person. What’s more, even their car will get lower gas mileage due to the extra weight. All of these things can really add up.
It is estimated that if an obese person loses weight permanently, he/she can save as much as $18,000 per year. As icing on the cake, they will also increase their capacity to earn.