Raise your hand if you want to lose weight. Keep it held high if you also want to save money. If that all sounds like you, we think you'll be thrilled to hear about this new study. Losing weight at any age leads to saving a whole lot of dollars over time, suggests a recent Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, suggests that an obese 20-year-old who sheds enough pounds to be overweight would save an average of $17,655 over his or her lifetime. If that same obese person slimmed down enough to reach a healthy weight, they could have an average savings of $28,020. And if a 40-year-old went from being obese to overweight, he or she could save $18,262. If that same 40-year-old trimmed down to a healthy weight, they could save $31,447.
At this point, you might be wondering where these big numbers are coming from. As it turns out, these folks would be saving the thousands of bucks from direct medical costs and productivity losses over the course of their lives. It's no secret that a high body mass index is linked to serious medical conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On top of high medical costs, these conditions can also cause many missed work days and loss of productivity. Considering more than 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, these numbers add up pretty quickly.
So for the study in question, the researchers developed a model showing the U.S. adult population to compare the lifetime costs and health effects for individuals who are obese, overweight, and at a healthy weight, from ages 20 to 80. All across the board, significant weight loss would help obese adults save money over time. In case you're wondering, the cost savings were highest for an obese 50-year-old who reached a healthy weight — an average total savings of a whopping $36,278.
It just goes to show that it's always the right time to get healthy — never too late or too early. And if you can save money sooner rather than later, too, all the better!
h/t Science Daily
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