“Being healthy is expensive!”
Not so fast my friend, being unhealthy may be putting a much larger dent in your wallet (both physically and figuratively I suppose)
The health cost of being overweight or obese is widely known throughout the United States, especially among health professionals. Many chronic illnesses and issues such as diabetes, heart issues, bone and ligament pain, etc. can originate from being overweight or obese. Sometimes, these issues are not enough to persuade people to change their current lifestyle choices down the path of being overweight or obese. In many aspects, money can be a much greater influence on people’s life decisions.
The National Institutes of Health released an extensive review article in the Obesity Review Journal in January of 2011 on the direct medical and healthcare costs of being overweight or obese in the United States. After reviewing 33 journal articles, NIH researchers concluded that the average annual cost of being overweight is an additional $266 and the annual cost of being obese is $1723, with a total aggregate cost of overweight or obese is $199.3 billion (1). Unfortunately, the percent of Americans that are overweight/obese is on the rise. Currently, 66% of Americans are overweight (BMI > 25) and 32% of those Americans are obese (BMI > 30). Researchers have concluded that if our country stays on the current path of weight gain, 86% of Americans could be overweight by the year 2030, with 51% of them being obese (2).
If you are overweight, obese or are just trying to prevent yourself from getting there, invest in your future life of health and wellness and start making those changes TODAY! You will feel better, your body will be lighter, and your wallet may feel a little heavier in the end.
1. Tsai A, Williamson D, Glick H. Direct medical cost of overweight and obesity in the USA: A quantitative systematic review. Obesity Reviews. January 2011;12(1):50-61.
2. Wang Y, Beydoun MA, Liang L, Caballero B, Kumanyika SK. Will all Americans become overweight or obese? Estimating the progression and cost of the US obesity epidemic. Obesity. October 2008;16: 2323–2330.