Invest in Yourself
Many times people think about the cost of weight loss surgery without thinking about how much being overweight costs them. How much money could a dramatic weight loss save you? Some people find they save on doctor visits or prescriptions. They spend less on food or eating out. They stop spending money on diet pills and programs. It can add up to more than $15,000 a year in savings.
Researchers have found that obese men and women earn, on average, $3.41 per hour less than their peers. This is a loss of $7,093 annually. This income gap is smaller for younger obese employees, but it widens over time and may be due to increased healthcare costs. (Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Fewer Work Hours
On average, obese workers tend to lose a week of work a year due to illnesses related to their weight. A company of 1,000 employees loses $285,000 a year due to obese—not overweight—employees, about 30 percent of which is related to increased absenteeism. (Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Higher Medical Costs
Overweight men have medical costs that are $170 more annually than their leaner co-workers, while overweight women have costs $495 higher than their counterparts. Hospitals have to pay more to treat the obese—oversized wheelchairs can cost about $2,500, eight times the cost of an ordinary wheelchair, and operating tables that are strong enough to support the severely obese can top $30,000. (Source: The Fattening of America by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman)
Extra Air Travel Costs
Airlines, such as Southwest, require obese people or people who may take up more than one seat to buy an adequate number of seats on the flight. Also, heavier passengers burn more fuel: In the 1990s, Americans' average weight increased by 10 pounds, which meant that airlines spent $275 million on an additional 350 million gallons of fuel to support that extra weight. (Source: 2004 Centers for Disease Control report)
More weight burns more gasoline in cars. A 2006 study published in The Engineering Economist Journal found that Americans pumped 938 million more gallons of fuel a year than they did in 1960 because of extra weight.