Unless you’ve been living in a bunker for the past decade, you’ve probably heard the news that obesity is now an epidemic. Sixty percent of Americans are overweight. But understanding health risks often isn’t enough to motivate people to lose weight. So here are four more eye-opening reasons to drop those extra pounds.
1. Better Employment. Employers often use image, future health costs and physical limitations as legitimate reasons not to hire an overweight person. In addition, one psychological study found that obese individuals were viewed as “less competent, less productive and disorganized” than their thinner counterparts. Overweight employees earn an average of $1.25/hour less than thin employees — a roughly six-figure loss over a career. By shrinking your waistline, you can increase your income.
2. Dollars and Cents. Overweight individuals spend about $1,429 more annually for healthcare and medications. Morbidly obese individuals spend a lifetime average of $1,440 more on gasoline due to a reduction in gas mileage. Even larger clothing comes with a higher price tag. Experts estimate the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man. What could you do with $2,000-4,000 more each year?
3. For the Kids. One-third of American children are overweight or obese. A study found 48% of children with overweight parents become overweight, compared with just 13% of children with healthy-weight parents. Losing weight sets a positive example for children to follow.
4. Healthy = Happy. Poor self-image, low self-esteem and social isolation contribute to depression. Obese people are 25% more likely to have a mood disorder than average-weight people. Depression and obesity also cause a self-destructive cycle in which the two contribute to each other. Reversing the cycle will lead to a happier, healthier you.
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Sources: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/hohonu/writing.php?id=111, http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/79/6/909/, http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2001-05767-002, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2004/july21/med-obesity-721.html, http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2011/01/the-cost-of-being-overweight.html, http://www.gwumc.edu/sphhs/departments/healthpolicy/dhp_publications/pub_uploads/dhpPublication_35308C47-5056-9D20-3DB157B39AC53093.pdf, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Overweight-in-Children_UCM_304054_Article.jsp#.TyA3KIEaG8A