There are many good reasons to lose weight if you are obese or overweight, but here's another one: you'll be able to save up to $36,000 in your lifetime.
Overweight people may see a slightly shorter life span, while pregnant women with extra weight are also more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects. With saving thousands of dollars on top of it, it might be time to start thinking about losing several pounds.
Losing Weight Saves Thousands Of Dollars
According to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, obese and overweight adults stand to benefit from significant cost savings if they lose weight.
The findings, published in the Obesity journal, claim that 20-year-old adults can save an average of $17,655 in direct medical costs and productivity losses over their lifetime if they go from obese to overweight, and $28,020 when going from obese to a healthy weight. For 40-year-old adults, the savings are $18,262 and $31,447, respectively.
Cost savings reach the peak for 50-year-old adults, with average total savings of $36,278.
A high body mass index is linked to various major health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. High BMI can also result in high medical costs for treating the complications and productivity losses, due to missed work days.
The productivity losses, however, do not only affect the individual. Employees who are unable to go to work due to the negative effects of obesity add to the workload of their colleagues. This increases the societal costs of obesity, which will also result in higher insurance premiums.
Obesity In America
According to a report released by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation earlier this month, one in five Americans is obese. Out of the country's 50 states, 45 of them exceeded adult obesity rates of 25 percent.
Researchers have recently developed a medicated skin patch that burns off unwanted fat, which could be used to treat obesity and diabetes. However, it is not yet ready for human usage, so people who would like to lose weight will still have to rely on old-fashioned exercise and a proper diet.
Obesity Society spokesperson and ConscienHealth founder Ted Kyle advocates evidence-based approaches to solving the obesity problem and noted how the Johns Hopkins study documents the cost of untreated obesity well. Kyle, however, added that exercise and a proper diet will need to be supported by intensive help in changing the bad habits that worsened obesity in the first place.