Financial Implications of being Obese

November 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Weight Loss Articles

There are many direct and indirect financial implications of obesity. People are aware of the health implications of obesity, but not a lot of them know about the financial and economic repercussions that obesity can have. And this is not restricted to individuals alone. Obesity is considered as an epidemic which is slowly spreading to many nations. It is the number two preventive cause of death, succeeded only by smoking. In 2008, the costs in the US alone due to obesity, were a staggering $147 billion. This does not paint a very rosy picture for people outside a fit weight range.

Medical Costs – First and foremost are the increased medical costs. When getting any type of treatment, obese patients have to be given extra care and may require specialized services. The full impact of these costs is perhaps not felt due to Medicare costs covered by insurance companies and government. But sooner or later, the norms will change and the costs are bound to shoot up. Secondly, the preventive and diagnostic and diagnostic costs of obesity also amount to quite a sum.

Loss in Income – There are two kinds of medical implications of obesity that affect income. One is morbidity costs. It is the loss of income due to absenteeism, sick days and bed days which are due to obesity. Mortality costs, on the other hand, refers to the loss of future income due to premature death. Obesity is one of the top reasons for premature death. Loss in income means that there is lesser money available to spend on treatment of obesity, which in turn leads to more and more problems. Therefore, it becomes a vicious circle that traps individuals.

Jobs – Demands of all the sectors are changing, and this includes the corporate sector too. Companies want people who look and feel good and exhibit confidence, in order to attract future clients. Companies and individuals are hesitant to hire people that are obese. Therefore, once an obese person loses a job, he or she might find it harder to find a new one. This may affect their personal finances as well as their families. Also, quite a lot of people need to travel due to their workplaces being far away. If this includes public transport, it may add all the more to the problems of an obese person. This is because he may get more tired than other people, and in turn will not be able to concentrate on work

Insurance – Obese people can face problems when applying for insurance too. Insurance companies only cover people up to a particular weight range. This norm too is changing. There is no telling for sure how insurance for obese people will be in the future. If insurance does not cover the medical costs of obese individual, it will mean more financial implications. Added to it is the loss of income. This keeps going on and on in cycles.

Finding Products – Obese people have to spend more time and money to find products of everyday need. If they are on a diet and need special food, they might have to go further away to buy them or the products themselves might cost more. Even when it comes to clothing, obese people have a hard time finding what they need. Other such lifestyle products increase their costs as well.

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