Scientists Say Being a Healthy Weight is Better for Your Wallet, As Well As Your Health

We are often told about the many benefits of losing weight if you are currently in the overweight or obese weight range - from less strain on joints, greater energy levels, and higher self-esteem, to lower risk of heart disease and stroke. However, one benefit you may not have thought about is saving money.

According to a recent study conducted by the John Hopkins University School of Public Health and posted on, weight loss can indeed have a significant effect on your money if you are currently obese.

Losing Weight Saves Money Regardless of Age

The John Hopkins study used computer models to compare the outgoings of different individuals at obese and overweight body mass indices (BMI) against those medically considered a healthy weight. This was mapped for people in different age groups and across both genders. The results showed that for both men and women of any age, significant cost savings can be made by losing weight.

The reduction in cost is higher for older people, with those over 40 estimated to be able to save $31,447 by dropping from an obese BMI to a healthy one. However, for someone in their twenties, there is still an average $28,080 to be saved by going from obese to a healthy weight.

Interestingly, even just going from the obese range to overweight can still trigger big cost savings. The average adult who can achieve this was estimated by the study to save $17,655. This means that essentially, any improvement made to your weight will also improve your savings.

What Are the Costs of Obesity Based On?

Unsurprisingly, medical bills played a big part in the analysis. Based on the likelihood of an obese person needing different types of medical treatment compared with someone of a healthy weight, the computer model developed by the scientists was able to show the average cost of medical needs for people of different ages and weight categories.

However, this wasn't the only factor. Another big part of what makes being a healthy weight better for your wallet is greater productivity. People who are obese take far more time off work due to health issues, and this affects their job prospects and incomes.

How Reliable is the Study?

Naturally, there are a lot of factors at play here. For instance, some people with a high BMI that shows as obese are actually very healthy. For example, people who are heavy due to having a lot of muscle like boxers or NFL players. Equally, some people aren't affected by healthcare costs, such as those in countries with universal healthcare, so while the computer model does show that weight loss is a good idea for your finances, it isn't an infallible study.

However, if you are obese or overweight and seeking motivation to lose weight, perhaps as your new year's resolution for 2018, extra money in your wallet is one more good reason to go for it!

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