I don't know how many of you watch "The Biggest Loser" - I love that show and I'm excited for it to start up again TONIGHT! I am always impressed with how people completely change their lives and motivate those around them to do the same. But I never gave much thought about how being unhealthy and overweight can contribute to draining your bank accounts. Suze Orman was on an episode last season that still sticks with me months later, and she definitely had some food for thought:
- America spends $147 billion dollars annually on obesity-related illnesses compared to $90 billion on cancer.
- Obese employees earn $7,000 less every year than healthy employees - healthy people are up to 3 times more productive, less likely to get tired, spend less on health care and insurance, and they are less likely to miss work because of illnesses
- Obese people spend considerably more on life insurance ($500-$1,000 a year)
- Americans spend $4.4 billion dollars on gastric bypass surgeries (220,000 people a year get bypass surgery at a cost of approximately $20,000 per surgery)
- If you are at an ideal weight, you'll save approximately 1 MILLION DOLLARS over the course of 40 years.
These numbers were staggering, and some of them were, quite frankly, frightening to me. It does seem like staying healthy is expensive - healthy food, gym memberships, running shoes, fitness clothes... but compared to higher health care costs, lost wages, and more potential costs associated with obesity, it seems like an easy financial choice, not to mention a much healthier one.