Personal Cost of Obesity

Obesity is a health problem with various consequences. The costs on your life can go beyond simply the various health conditions that come with it. Obesity can also affect you on a financial level. By putting it simply, obesity can be very costly in monetary terms.

Being overweight brings with it some things that may cost you from a financial standpoint. For those who have been overweight and not bothered to do something about it, the cost may come from increased health care spending. As obesity develops a host of unwanted health conditions, treatment for them may come at a very substantial cost.

According to a study, obese adults tend to spend more than 50 percent higher in health care costs as compared to adults with normal weights. Obese people also tend to pay for higher private insurance premiums due to their condition which brings more risks. Another study also showed that losing or gaining weight has a direct relationship in a person either losing or gaining wealth.

In a study published in the 2005 Economics and Human Biology in 2005, participants had their body mass index (BMI) measured and used the data to see if it can affect a person’s earning capacity or income. The resulting study showed that decreasing a person’s BMI by 5.8 points resulted an increase in wealth by more than $4,000.

When a person’s BMI was reduced by as much as 10 points, characterized by a large change in weight, the wealth increase extended to more than $12,000. On the other hand, an increase in BMI points seem to correspond to a decrease in wealth by about a thousand dollars per point increase. The study though also showed that the changes recorded also varied dramatically by a person’s gender and ethnicity.

Beyond the economic impact of obesity, physical limitations that it brings may also extend to some considerable physical costs. Obesity primarily brings with it serious limitations in doing certain physical activities. Obese people may find it hard even to tie their own shoe laces, walk long distances, or even certain work-related activities. These difficulties, no matter how trivial, may have a cumulative effect.

Not being able to walk long distances may be due to lung capacity problems. This may further lead to having trouble sleeping which can then lead to a poor performance at work. The subsequent results may lead to a worsening day to day experience which may later on head down to stress and financial strains.

From this perspective, it can be easy to see that obesity is not merely a health issue. Obesity may also affect a person’s life financially due to the various costs that it entails. Being able to control one’s weight can therefore be seen as a means that may help one improve also his or her financial situation in the long run.


Leave a Reply