New Study Quantifies the Monetary Costs of Being Overweight

If improved health, increased energy, and fitting into your ideal clothing size weren’t enough motivation to lose weight, how about increasing the size of your bank account? Over 70 percent of adults in the United States meet the criteria for being either overweight or obese, which results in medical costs of up to $210 billion per year.  This proves that being overweight is not only a detriment to one’s physical and mental well being, but also to their wallet.

A study just released on September 26th, 2017 in the journal Obesity, shows that losing weight at any age can result in significant cost savings.  The study, conducted by five researchers from the Global Obesity Prevention Center at John Hopkins University, developed a computational model that simulates the economic effects on a person at various ages and weights.

The higher a person’s BMI, the more likely they are to have medical complications and therefore higher associated costs.  Therefore, it would stand to reason that the study showed greater money savings when a person’s weight dropped from the obese to normal weight category than from the obese to overweight category. 

The two major contributing factors to financial loss are medical costs and productivity loss.  Medical costs include hospitalizations, medications, surgical procedures, etc.  Productivity costs are comprised of salary loss from medical disability, missed days of work for doctor appointments or hospital stays, and loss of income due to an untimely death. 

The study identified a lifetime savings of over $36,000 for 50 year olds who went from obese to normal weight. By comparison, there was a savings of $20,000 for 20 year olds and $16,880 for 80 year olds who had proportionately similar changes to their weight. The study found that even if a person didn’t reach a normal weight for their height and age, simply losing enough to move from the obese category to the overweight category would save them as much as $18,600.

In almost every calculation of the study, productivity loss accounted for at least 50% of the cost of being overweight.  In some cases, productivity loss accounted for as much as two-thirds of the overall cost. Keep in mind that the study used median salary ranges from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, therefore a person with higher than average earnings would have proportionately higher savings over the dollar figures reported in the study.

There has been a long standing focus on the less quantitative, intangible costs of being overweight, such as lower self confidence, depletion of energy, and being unable to wear certain clothing.  Now, however we have quantifiable evidence of the monetary costs of being overweight.

Whether you’re motivated by the less tangible benefits of losing weight or the tangible benefit of saving money by avoiding the associated medical and productivity costs, the caring experts at Medifast Weight Control Centers want to help you succeed. 

Get started today by calling for your complimentary consultation today!

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