The High Cost of Being Unhealthy and Overweight

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Individuals who struggle with obesity, being overweight, or just living an unhealthy lifestyle not only suffer physically and mentally but usually financially as well.

Average annual cost of being overweight:

The financial costs of obesity include medical, disability, and even lost productivity. The price tag for severely overweight or obese individuals can come to over $3,500 per year, and nearly double that cost for obese women, who rack up close to $6,500 in costs annually. Some may not realize the impact of such a price tag over one year, so consider this: Investing that much money on a yearly basis over 40 years of work would net a comfortable retirement fund of $700,000 for men and over $1 million for women.

So, what exactly is the difference between being overweight and obese? It comes down to an individual’s BMI (Body Mass Index), or a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Overweight individuals have a BMI of 25-29, and obese individuals have a BMI of 30 or higher.

Health problems often lead to budget problems:

Being severely overweight causes health problems such as diabetes, heart and blood pressure problems, muscle, bone and joint problems, and so much more. More health problems mean more trips to doctors and specialists, and more treatments and medications, which can add up and wreak havoc on your wallet.

Increased health problems caused by obesity and being overweight can also have a dramatic, negative impact on work productivity. People who are overweight or obese miss one to five more workdays on average per year due to illness or injury than individuals at a healthy weight. Overweight individuals also have higher disability rates, earlier retirement, and lost wages.

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There are several other financial costs that can sneak up on overweight individuals, including travel costs. It costs more for a seat on an airplane, as the majority of airlines will require obese or severely overweight passengers to purchase two seats instead of one. Daily transportation by car can also affect your wallet if you are overweight, as you may find yourself needing a larger, thus more expensive, vehicle in which you can sit comfortably. Even gas costs will increase up to $50 per year or even more, as any excessive weight will require more gas to accelerate your vehicle. Other everyday costs that can increase for overweight individuals include expensive food bills, clothing bills for special, larger-sized pieces, and various therapies or appointments.

Weight loss programs, diet pills, and surgeries can be very costly:

Weight loss can be a difficult thing to achieve. Living a healthy lifestyle and turning away from overeating and eating the wrong foods are all things that most people in the 21st century are constantly trying to achieve. However, with this new healthier lifestyle and trying to lose weight, people can spend a ton of money and even fall into debt trying to achieve those sometimes unattainable results.

The shift towards living a healthier lifestyle has been made by many people over the past couple of years. It has recently become a movement headed by fitness and nutrition experts, hoping to help us all live a healthy way of life.

The question many of us ask when embarking on a weight loss program is how best to do so and whether we should pay to access online diet plans, meal replacement programs, and healthy living Websites. But the biggest and most important question of all should be “What’s the TRUE cost of weight loss?”

It’s best to see a doctor FIRST before starting any weight loss program:

Although this is always mentioned in TV Ads and on websites, the best option for starting any weight loss program is to seek the help of a medical professional who can provide advice about embarking on a healthy, balanced diet, and exercise program.

Most medical professionals believe a healthier lifestyle that sees a diet free of processed foods and foods high in sugars, coupled with a safe exercise program, is the best way of losing weight, and achieving good health and a greater sense of well-being.

Forget about that quick-fix weight loss gimmick:

Many people who are starting on their weight loss journey are looking for a quick fix that can quickly eliminate fatty cells within the body using supplements or diet pills. Although the use of vitamins, minerals, and herbs found in most supplements is usually not dangerous in itself, the use of other synthetic pharmaceuticals hidden within some weight loss supplements or diet pills can often be dangerous when not known about.

Quick-fix diet pills are expensive and often filled with potentially dangerous substances, such as laxative ingredients that increase the amount of weight loss in a more dangerous way than the simple technique of eating properly and exercising daily.

Buying diet pills online can really add up and eat into your budget. Many times people don’t like the way some diet pills make them feel, and they won’t even use half the bottle, so that money was completely wasted. If people have this quick fix mentally and they continually try different pills only to have the same results, they are just flushing their hard-earned money down the drain.

Be skeptical of diet pills and supplements:

The expense often associated with weight loss can be large when supplements are included in the foods and diets used to create a successful weight loss program. The cost of these supplements, when added to the use of diet bars, supplement shakes, and meals are often high. They can increase the issues with some people sliding back towards processed foods and sugary treats.

The majority of people who fail to complete their desired weight loss program often claim the high cost of fresh produce and organic foods, when compared to processed foods, have limited their ability to complete the weight loss program. But they will not include the cost of these supplements and diet pills as being too expensive because they just want that quick solution and quick fix to their weight problems.

Campaigners and people around the world are now attempting to find ways of lowering the cost of fresh produce for those looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Many experts also recommend growing your own produce and herbs to add fresh, healthy foods to any well-balanced diet. Local farmers’ markets are popping up all over the place, and they offer a low-cost approach to living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight.

Surgery is not only RISKY, but it’s super expensive as well:

Another quick fix approach is to “go under the knife” and have some weight loss surgery performed, such as liposuction. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but it’s also extremely costly and can lead to major debt problems. Decisions like these should not be taken lightly, and many things need to be addressed and discussed with doctors, financial planners, family members, and close friends.

If an individual can begin to lose weight in a safe and effective manner, they also may find some other problems that must be overcome. A large amount of weight loss can bring problems with excess skin left over that can be upsetting for the individual and make them lose self-esteem and confidence.

The most popular option for those with excess skin is to undergo surgery to remove it and create a smoother surface layer of skin that can have a vast increase in confidence and self-esteem. As with many other aspects of weight loss and healthy living, the monetary amount needed for this surgery to take place and the associated risks can be extremely high and not allow some people the chance to take part in this option without going into debt.

You risk losing your money and NOT weight with a scam:

There are weight loss scams that you need to be worried about, as well. We’ve all seen the weight loss products claiming to be endorsed by the likes of Dr. Oz and a number of other famous celebrities. Sometimes these “trial” offers for weight loss pills, shakes, or cookies are often too good to be true!

If you read customer reviews from around the web, these supplements usually don’t work, and the worst part is sometimes the products don’t even make it to your doorstep, ever. Companies could just fold up, and you would have a very hard time trying to get your money back. It happens more often than you think. It’s always a good idea to research a company online with the BBBRip-off Report.comConsumer Financial Protection Bureau, etc. before making any purchases.

You are feeling very sleepy but STILL over-eating on junk food:

Another controversial method of losing weight is Hypnotherapy. Now, you may think it’s controversial because many people claim that it doesn’t work and you’d be right, BUT what makes it a truly subjective act is the very high cost of just one hypnotherapy session. The catch is that most hypnotherapy weight loss programs require weekly consultation with a hypnotist for at least 8 weeks or more, in addition to self-hypnosis. This can be a very costly way to try and shed some unwanted pounds.


If you find yourself in debt because of recent weight loss attempts or you’re struggling to pay medical bills for any reason, the professionals at Advantage CCS can help. You and your certified credit counselor can look at your monthly income and expenses to come up with a budget spending plan that is right for you and your current situation.

We’ve been assisting people with getting out of debt since 1968. We’re a non-profit credit counseling agency that’s here to help! Give us a call at 1-866-699-2227 or visit us online at www.advantageccs.org.

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.