Most people understand the health benefits of losing weight and staying healthy, but few people think about the practical advantages that come with shedding those extra pounds. Specifically, you may not have considered the positive financial impact of losing weight.
3 Ways Weight Loss Saves You Money
According to a research study that tracked healthcare spending by body mass index levels (BMI), the average annual cost for a person with a low BMI of 19 is $2,368. For individuals with a BMI of 45 or greater (deemed obese), the costs are a whopping $4,880 per year. In other words, obesity is costing the average person $2,512 more per year.
The good news is that most people can do something about their obesity. Not only is there a wealth of knowledge available online, but losing weight is cheaper than ever before. While the weight loss industry hit a fever pitch of sorts two or three years ago, things have started to flatten out and there’s now a greater emphasis on natural weight loss using healthy supplements and medications. These natural solutions are much cheaper than the expensive commercial weight loss plans that were being pushed just a couple of years ago.
In addition to saving money on the actual weight loss process, you’ll also save thousands of dollars down the road. Here are a few of the specific ways you can expect to save:
- Health Costs
Recent research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discovered that losing weight saves people significant amounts of money over their lifetime – in direct medical costs and productivity alone. Here are some of the specific findings:
- If a 20-year-old adult goes from being obese to overweight, they save $17,655.
- If a 20-year-old adult goes from being obese to a healthy weight, they save $28,020.
- If a 30-year-old goes from being obese to a healthy weight, they save $27,331.
- If a 40-year-old adult goes from being obese to overweight, they save $18,262.
- If a 40-year-old adult goes from being obese to a healthy weight, they save $31,447.
The research shows that savings peak at the age of 50, when going from an obese weight to healthy weight can actually save as much as $36,278. Pretty incredible, right?
In a very practical sense, being overweight costs you a lot in food costs. While not always the case, obesity is often directly linked to unhealthy eating habits. Overweight individuals tend to buy fast food more often than they cook meals, which can be pretty expensive. Eating out once per day, even at the cheapest fast food restaurants, costs nearly $2,000 per year.
“Truthfully, if you really want to save money, you’re going to need to learn how to cook and prepare your own food, buy in bulk (when you can), and even grow your own food,” health writer Sam Becker explains. “For some people, this isn’t an option — there may be a lack of space to store foods bought in bulk, or you may not have access to a yard or a place to grow vegetables. And the more flexible you are with your dietary restrictions, the more you can stretch your money.”
Start by cooking your own dinners. If this goes well, begin preparing your lunch ahead of time and bringing it with you to work. Before long, you’ll notice the cost savings and the weight loss (which will motivate you to continue).
- Higher Income
According to a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, obese workers earn, on average, 2.5 percent less than those with normal weight. So not only are your expenses higher, but it’s also possible that you’re making less. This means you’re feeling financial strain in both directions.
Adding It All Up
With as much focus as people put on being fiscally responsible and saving money on the things they buy, most individuals have no understanding of the correlation between weight and expenses. But as this article shows, obesity costs thousands of dollars per year and tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
It’s never too late to start losing weight. Whether you’re 25 or 85, there are plenty of practical reasons for shedding excess pounds and developing a healthier “you.” Why not start today?