Obesity is not only costly to your health, but being overweight also has adverse implications on your finances. Apart from the obvious medical expenses associated with treating health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure arising from being obese, here are 5 nonmedical ways being overweight costs you money.
- Loss of income
Lost wages are the earnings an employee does not receive from their employer because they missed work or were unable to work for one reason or the other. This is lost time, and since it was unproductive, it cannot be compensated. An overweight person is bound to lose productive time because of absenteeism when seeking medical attention. This is a loss of income that can be directly attributed to being overweight.
- Lost earning capacity
Overweight employees suffer short-term disability resulting from the toll of health complications on the immune system and the physical strain on the patient’s anatomy. This subjects you to early retirements, translating to less income in wages and benefits due to the incapacitation. Consequently, if you remain in employment, the productive hours are bound to reduce and a resultant decrease in quality hence hampering your ability to earn income equivalent to your full potential.
- Higher cost of products
Manufacturers and designers develop products for the masses so as to benefit from the economies of scale which significantly reduces the cost of the product, enabling more people to afford the product. However, overweight consumers require a distinct category for most of the products, and this not only defies the economies of scale, but it also limits the options available and equally call for the use of more/unique material. Costs incurred in the development of this special category are transferred to the consumers. Therefore, overweight people pay more for their products as compared to the other body sizes.
- Weight management
Weight management requires the commitment of resources, and this can be costly to your wallet. The cost of purchasing weight-loss programs, gym membership, acquiring personal trainer or nutritionist and obtaining special diets are some of the initial costs that you will encounter. Later costs will arise from the need to purchase a new wardrobe if your weight management endeavour yields positive results.
Alternatively, doing nothing about your weight is also costly because it stems from a habit of overindulgence, and addiction and these habits are still expensive and extravagant to maintain.
The most unfortunate nonmedical cost of being overweight is the social impact of your weight on your ability to earn income. Discriminatory cases in the workplace have been reported towards people who are obese. The discriminatory tendencies including social exclusion not only harm the victim’s self-esteem and confidence, but the psychological impact hampers their productivity leading to reduced productivity and efficiency. This hurts their chances of promotion and hence limits career advancement. Consequently, other employees, including the manager might intentionally avoid assigning responsibility to an overweight person because of the lack of trust in the individual’s commitment and fear of replication of the same in their job duties.
Chris Bouchard is a strategic consultant who works with non-profit leaders and social entrepreneurs to apply concepts and techniques to identify complex strategic issues, find practical solutions, and devise strategies to create and win a unique strategic position. He also offers project development, proposal writing, and project evaluation services.