Obesity: The Devastating Financial Impact For Women

Yesterday, I told you about companies that are taking better control of their health care costs -- and saving lives and money in the process -- by investing in in-house programs that emphasize wellness. This awesome piece from the Los Angeles Times is another great reminder how the plague of obesity devastates a patient's physical and mental health along with their pocketbook. And particularly, those who suffer from morbid obesity (patients who weigh more than 100 pounds past the ideal body weight).

Although no studies yet have pinpointed how much more obese patients spend on food than others, the financial impact of obesity has been measured in relation to how it affects them personally and, folks, the toll is devastating, especially for obese women:

  • Obese women earn less money than their male counterparts.
  • A 10 percent increase in a woman's body mass index decreased her income by 6 percent.
  • Obese females tend to work in industries that require fewer skills and are more likely not to finish college.

One woman's story shows just how tough that road can be. A worker in the financial services industry, the California woman buys expensive plus-size clothes on the Internet because she can't find any in most brick-and-mortar stores. She pays for extra medicines -- for asthma and acid reflux -- that are worsened by her morbid obesity. Even that living room couch cost her thousands more dollars just to support her larger body.

And, along the way, she wasted money on "one-size-fits-all" diets that do nothing for most people. Remember, quick-fix diets are no solution for a problem that took many of you a lifetime to finally come to grips with. You have all the free tools you need on my Web site to make a major impact on your health and life today. Here's some links to get you started on the path toward optimal health:

Los Angeles Times August 1, 2005

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