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America has reached epidemic proportions, too many Americans are too heavy.
According to a recent study by JAMA Internal Medicine, over two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. It’s estimated that more than 36 million men and nearly 29 million women are overweight and about 32 million men and 36 million women are obese.
Body mass index or BMI determines the level of body fat by measuring your weight distribution compared to your height.
BMI indicators are as followed:
· Underweight = < 18.5
· Normal weight = 18.5 – 24.9
· Overweight = 25 – 29.9
· Obese = > 30
Everyone knows health risks associated with obesity, but not only do these superfluous pounds weigh down your body, they also weigh down your wallet.
According to a recent study by George Washington University, the overall annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men. The overall annual costs of being overweight is $524 for women and $432 for men. In 2008, the medical costs alone of obese people totaled about $147 billion.
These numbers account for direct medical and dental costs, absences from work and lost productivity, short-term disability, and disability pension insurance.
Studies also suggest larger women earn less than skinnier women, while wages don’t differ when men pack on the pounds, though there is no definitive reason.
Obesity also lowers life expectancy. The study also factored in how much death and its expenses would cost an obese person. This rounded up the annual cost an additional $3,486 to $8,365 for women. Death costs obese men an additional $3,872 to $6,518.
Obesity affects more than your health, it also affects your finances and your family’s well-being.
So how do you turn your life around? The National Institute of Health has these suggestions for those who are overweight and obese:
· Create manageable goals
· Follow a healthy eating plan
· Focus on portion control (eating on smaller plates helps!)
· Be active; take a pet for a walk and always use the stairs
· Seek support from family and friends
· Keep track of your weight and BMI
· Set up healthy rewards, like a new outfit to show off your progress