Friday, December 14, 2007

Cost of being overweight?

Does it cost you money being overweight? I think it does. Many would argue that it depends on what you define as overweight, but I think that if you feel "overweight" you likely are.

What sort of costs are involved with being overweight? Well for many people it can cause increased medical costs. Such as taking medication to control high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes. I read in NEJM that 1 pound of extra weight = 4 extra pounds on your knees, so overweight people are also likely overstraining their joints and bones, possible also causing them to take painkillers. Even with prescription coverage, these medications can add up if you have to continually pay the co-pay every month.

Second, it's harder to find clothes. I have talked to overweight people who find it difficult to buy clothes. Sometimes the clothes need to be altered. Or they need to shop in speciality stores and pay more. Thus they are usually unable to shop sales or thrift stores.

Third the grocery budget. Being overweight typically is due to eating more calories than you expend. To lose one pound you need to expend 3500 more calories than you ate. So imagine being 10 lbs overweight means you potentially ate an extra 35,000 calories. That's a lot of food. People have distorted what a proper portion size is. So people often eat more than the suggested or reccomended serving.

All these things do add up. If you wanted to save money, and you've already cut your budget, consider looking at your health. If you are overweight, maybe you can lose weight and decrease your medical and grocery budget. The benefits will be more than just financial.


Debt Dieter said...

This is a really interesting post, and something for me to seriously think about going into the new year.

I don;t have any medication costs but nthe clothes and food bills items ring true!

MEG said...

Studies also show that overweight people are paid less than people of a normal weight (don't know how those terms are defined).

This might be because overweight people are deemed less competent or less valuable by their employers, or perhaps it's because overweight people have less confidence and are less likely to demand raises. Either way, weight can cost you in income!

Living Almost Large said...

I think that people who are overweight might be perceived as not being able to control themselves. They are not in control of their eating habits maybe.

herbal remedy said...

Interesting to equate obesity and overweight with the costs of being in such a state. Definitely, it would cost more to keep up with the binge on high calorie, processed food items that are low in nutrients. But I bet that it would only take a smaller fraction of the cost to exercise, eat a balanced diet and for the overweight or obese to take natural weight loss supplements such as milled flax seed.


Anonymous said...

Not every overweight person eats an unhealthy diet. They may eat too much food, but it's not necessarily unhealthy, fast food.

It really irritates me when people automatically equate being overweight with gorging on fast food and junk food.

It's entirely possible, for various reasons -- only one of which is overeating -- for a person to eat a well balanced diet (e.g., lean proteins, veggies, fruits, etc.) and still weigh too much.

Living Almost Large said...

If you read my post carefully I did not say unhealthy food. Nope I wrote they eat too much. Which is point 3.