Losing weight through gastric sleeve surgery can improve your life in a million big and little ways, but have you ever considered the impact to your wallet? As it turns out, slimming down can fatten your bank account by tens of thousands of dollars—no matter how old you are.
The Cost of Being Fat
It’s no stretch to imagine that food costs might be higher if you’re overweight or obese. Even things like the price of clothing can be more expensive (bigger sizes usually mean bigger price tags). But medical costs and lost wages are the big-ticket items that most threaten the financial wellbeing of obese individuals.
A recent study published in Obesity assigns real dollar amounts to the cost of obesity and highlights how much people can save over the course of their lifetimes if they shed extra pounds. And while you might think that the younger you are, the more money you’ll save, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The greatest impact is for those around 50 years old, who will save an estimated $36,000 over the course of their lifetime, on average, when they lose weight.
The big takeaway though, is that whether you’re 20 (expect an $18,000 savings) or 80 (add $16,000 in savings), getting healthy is a smart money strategy.
For the Obesity study, scientists created a computer model that took into account medical costs, productivity loss, and sick time racked up by people who at a healthy weight, overweight, and obese. Then the model “followed” these people over the course of their lifetimes. The result: Healthier people saved serious money. Naturally, moving from the “obese” category to the “healthy weight” category had the biggest impact, but even moving from “obese” to “overweight” translated to a significant cost savings.
Productivity Loss and Overweight Workers
How does work productivity and sick time affect your money? The more you go to the hospital or doctor’s office (or simply stay home because you’re not well), the less you earn. Of course, dying decades before your healthy-weight peers—a very real consequence of being obese—means you and your family go without all of the income you would have brought home. Keep in mind, too, that the study assumed a median income. If you earn more than a middle-of-the-road paycheck, you’re giving up even more money.
Then there’s the subconscious prejudice against obese people. Consider an International Journal of Obesity study, which showed that obese candidates were offered lower starting salaries, which multiples out to lower lifetime earnings.
Insurance and Beyond
The direct hit to your wallet extends beyond medical insurance premiums and doctors’ bills. Life insurance can also take a much bigger chunk out of your monthly budget if you’re overweight. An obese man in his 40s, for example, will pay about twice as much for the same life insurance as a normal-weight man of the same age.
And the Obesity study could be vastly undervaluing the economic impact of being overweight or obese. While it factored in things like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, it didn’t account for common obesity side effects like joint issues. It also didn’t include mental health struggles like depression and anxiety, common in obese individuals, which can lead to lost wages in a variety of ways.
Anyone who’s suffered from obesity knows that losing weight isn’t as easy as dieting and exercising. If it were, everybody would be at a healthy weight. Endobariatric is exclusively dedicated to gastric sleeve surgery, which provides a crucial advantage to obese patients searching for a permanent weight loss solution. Our all-inclusive price is a fraction of the cost of gastric sleeve north of the border—for the same top-quality care. And many Endobariatric patients qualify for financial assistance.
It’s no surprise that gastric sleeve helps people reclaim their health. And now we know that it might just be the best money-saving plan, too.