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Research reveals Americans can fatten their wallets in a tough economy by shrinking their waistlines.
America's big fat problem? Obesity. According to published reports, obesity and obesity-related conditions result in at least $62.7 million in doctors' visits and $39.3 million in lost workdays every year. What's more, obese and overweight employees cost companies an estimated $45 billion a year in medical coverage and loss of productivity. All told, the annual cost of obesity in the United States adds up to $122.9 billion.
As shocking as these statistics are, it's hard to get your arms around them. So Gold's Gym commissioned researchers to calculate the cost of obesity — more than 30 pounds overweight — for the typical American. Here's what they found:
What Obesity Costs You:
The Median U.S. salary is $48,451
Obese men and women earn, on average, $3.41 per hour less than other Americans, which means $7,093 less income across the course of one calendar year.
The typical American travels by airplane 2.5 times a year at an average cost of $331 per flight, and obese people often have to pay for an extra seat on these flights. Obese travel tax: $828.
Americans spend 4% of their annual income on clothing each year, but obese people pay an extra 25% for their clothes. Obese clothing surcharge: $485
Obese Americans lose, on average, one-half day of work due to obesity-related ailments. Total lost wages: $93.
Obese people visit the doctor once per year strictly for obesity-related ailments: Co-pay: $15
Obese people carrying 50 extra pounds burn 9 extra gallons of gas per year. Fat gas tax: $36.
The numbers don't lie.
But what can you do to avoid being an obesity statistic? Your Gold's Gym personal trainer can help you build a custom training plan that can help you lose weight and build healthy muscle mass. This, combined with a healthy diet, is the best way to avoid weight gain and the significant costs associated with obesity.
Sources: NIH; The 2008 Conference Board study; Obesity Research Journal; National Bureau of Economic Research; FAA; Dept. of Transportation; Bureau of Labor Statistics; National Health Interview Survey; Edmonds.com.