Retired and Loving It

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The Real Cost of Being Overweight

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Did you know that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese? Recent research reveals that those extra pounds may be as heavy a burden on the wallet as they are on the waistline.

How many people come to our retirement community to relax, travel, and enjoy their later years only to be plagued with all kinds of illnesses completely related to obesity?

This is especially timely as this very day we held a Memorial Service at our church for one of our Pastors who suddenly died of a massive heart attack at 58 years of age. Now, he wasn't even obese! Quite the contrary, he worked out at the gym and actually died while running on a treadmill. But he had symptoms of a problem, with some pains in his chest for over a week, but did not go to the doctor. His dad died in his 50s of heart disease and his brother just had stents placed in his heart.

When you have a family history of medical problems, it is so important to be proactive with your healthcare and demand that tests be done to rule out any potential problems.



The Cost Per-Pound of Being Overweight: According to Human, each pound over our ideal weight carries an average annual cost of $19.39. As we age, the cost per pound goes up, averaging $26.32 a year for 64 year-olds! Over a lifetime, an obese person will spend an average of $179,000 more in healthcare costs than a normal-weight individual.

Why Being Overweight Costs So Much: Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, which are all associated with obesity, are some of the most prevalent, costly, and preventable chronic diseases. They account for more than a third of the total annual healthcare expenditures in the U.S. 

Coronary Heart Disease- The leading cause of death       $177 billion

Cancer - Second leading cause of death                        $219 billion

Stroke - Third leading cause of death                            $73.7 billion

Diabetes - Sixth leading cause of death                         $174 billion    

What Can You Do About It: Radical changes are not necessary to start winning the war against being overweight?  Small lifestyle changes add up. Eating only 276 fewer calories a day could put you into a healthier weight range.

I know this is true, as I have Type 2 diabetes and have joined a Weight Watchers Class that has been so informative and inspiring. We count points for everything we eat, and make small changes like moving from white bread to whole wheat bread that is only 100 calories. You can still eat bread, just change the type. Or you can shrink your portion size. At McDonald's, you can save 270 calories by ordering small fries instead of large, and another 100 calories by ordering a Double Cheeseburger rather than a Big Mac. That's a savings of over 370 calories in just one meal.

Fight that battle of the bulge and you will reap huge savings in your wallet. Some things in life we cannot prevent, but don't let food addiction and poor health cause you to lose valuable dollars that you could have saved for a healthy and happy retirement. 

Related Posts:

The Joys of P.E.

Getting Your Beach Body in Gear

Good Health in Your Golden Years


Linda Reese

Linda is a contributing writer for the Retired & Loving it blog. Linda is retired, married, and enjoying her retirement in a retirement community in Florida. She shares her experiences with others who are facing retirement or already there with posts on living on a fixed income, budgeting, and healthcare issues. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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  • As someone that's struggling with both my weight and debt, this blog really hits close to home.  Thanks for your insights!

  • Some of the latest information on heart disease may make your heart beat a little bit faster because one in three of us have already experienced some form of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, a stroke, chest pain, or heart failure

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