27 Jun The Hidden Cost of Obesity: It’s More Expensive than You May Think
Being obese is expensive. And not just for society.
Numerous studies have been done on how the obesity rate affects society and the economy as a whole. What about the individual? What is the cost of obesity for a single person?
Researchers have finally turned their focus toward the individual to try and determine the expense of obesity per person. The results were staggering.
The Individual Cost of Obesity – Another Reason to Get the Weight Off
According to estimates, the national cost of obesity is $122 billion per year – mostly in healthcare costs. The expense of obesity is startling. It’s clear to see why politicians are on board with doing something about the obesity epidemic.
But it’s hard for the average person to think in terms of billions of dollars. All they know is that it’s a ton of money – but it doesn’t have a personal bearing.
And that is why researchers have been studying the cost of obesity at the individual level.
The numbers are mind boggling.
Per year, the cost of obesity for a man is $2,646. Adding in the value of lost life, the cost increases to $6,518.
For a woman, the individual cost of obesity annually amounts to $4,879. Again, adding in the value of lost life, a woman’s individual expense of obesity comes to $8,365.
The Hidden Personal Costs of Obesity
In an article about the cost of obesity, Forbes contributing writer April Dykman explored where those costs come from. A person might automatically think these costs come from medical expenses – but that’s only half the story. Ms. Dykman explained that the money spent on obesity can be broken down in the following ways.
1. Lost Wages and Absenteeism
Annually, obese women who earn over $30,000 per year will make almost $2,000 less per year than women of a healthy weight. Obese men, on the other hand, will only lose about $75 annually. The massive monetary distinction between the two obese groups is not yet known.
As far as absenteeism goes, obese employees tend to use more sick days than others. Men take an average of two more sick days, while obese women take between one and five sick days more than women with a healthy BMI.
An employee’s productivity tends to fall, too, if they’re obese. Dykman explains that those who are obese have more “self-reported limitations” than those who are not obese. These limitations include the amount of work that can be performed each day. The average cost in reduced productivity amounts to over $350 each year.
3. Higher Costs
Other ways obesity can raid a person’s wallet include higher insurance premiums, higher gasoline use, and higher disability pension insurance.
Obesity Steals Your Money and Your Health
In addition to emptying a person’s bank account, obesity robs people of their health. While nearly everyone knows how obesity can damage a person’s health, it bears repeating.
Obesity can steal a person’s health by:
- Increasing the likelihood of premature death
- Increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and gallbladder disease
- Raising cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Contributing to Type II Diabetes
- Causing osteoarthritis and generalized body pain
- Causing breathing problems, including sleep apnea
- Increase the likelihood of depression
- Contributing to certain types of cancers, like liver, endometrial, gallbladder, breast, kidney, and colon cancers.
Besides the money it takes to combat these issues, the cost of a person’s lowered quality of life is a sad side-effect of obesity.
Weight Loss Isn’t Easy – Don’t Be Ashamed to Get the Assistance You Need
One of the most difficult things a person can do in life is to try and lose weight. For many people, this is a struggle that constantly gets the better of them. In fact, many people who struggle with this end up regaining more weight than they lost.
Fortunately, there’s help. With bariatric specialists, a person is more likely to reduce their weight and keep it off for good.
Asking for assistance to lose weight is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something that can increase the probability of success exponentially. Where’s the shame in that?
Instead of constantly struggling to lose weight, people should find help as quickly as possible. In doing so, they can become a happier, healthier, more productive person with more money in their pocket!
If you’ve been struggling with weight loss, we can help. Please contact Dr. Marvin’s office today to schedule a consultation. We’ll help you find the best weight loss solution.*