Losing Weight May Make You Richer

So you think that weight loss surgery is expensive?  Well, staying fat is more costly than you may realize!  Economic experts tell us that we are spending outrageous amounts of money treating obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  In fact, America spends more than $147 billion annually on obesity and this is projected to reach close to $1 trillion annually by 2030!

At the personal level, for people with just 50lb of excess weight (a BMI~30), the lifetime medical cost related to diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke is $10,000 higher than it is for the average person at a healthy weight.

So, how does this relate to your daily personal finances? First, it’s a fact that your health is your most important asset. The cost of weight loss surgery pales in comparison to the long-term costs of obesity-related health problems.  In 2006, obese patients (BMI of 30 or greater) spent $1,429 annually more for their medical care than people in a normal weight range. A very significant study published in the American Journal of Managed Care reported that patients pay $900 per month less for healthcare just one year after bariatric surgery compared with similar weight people who don’t have surgery.

Even day-to-day living is more costly when you’re overweight. Plus-sized clothing costs 10% to 15% more than regular sized apparel.  Food is expensive and some experts estimate foods savings alone at more than $3000 per year after bariatric surgery.  Of course, you need to include how much money you are going to spend on another failed diet program. You won’t lose weight just because Jenny Craig’s wallet gets fatter.  One study broke this last fact down further by showing that for each pound of weight loss at Weight Watchers you will spend about $400!  That’s $4000 to lose ten pounds!

If you wonder if you can afford weight loss surgery, it’s time to ask yourself the real question.  Can you afford to stay fat?

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