September 21st, 2010
08:56 AM ET

Study: Obesity may slim down your wallet

More than a third of American men and women are obese. According to a new study, the excess weight doesn't just weigh heavily on their health, but on their wallets as well.

The economic costs of being obese can be as much as $4,879 for a woman, and $2,646 for a man per year, according to the report.

"We looked at both medical and non-medical costs," said Avi Dor, professor of economics and health policy at George Washington University, and a study co-author.

"The non-medical costs were mostly on-the-job costs - things like lost wages, lost productivity at work, sick leave and excess gasoline charges," said Dor.  Medical costs included things like inpatient and outpatient hospital visits, emergency room fees, doctors visits and prescription drug costs.

But why does obesity cost women so much more? Study co-author Professor Christine Ferguson says the gender disparity is largely the result of lost wages.

"For men who are overweight or obese, it does not affect their wages," Ferguson said. "If you are an obese woman, you're much more likely to be earning significantly less."

According to both Ferguson and Dor, the study has one major limitation: It did not include factors such as excess clothing needs, food, larger automobile size or furniture, because reliable data for these factors do not exist.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that these costs could be significant," Dor said.

But there is some good news: weight loss, even in small amounts can benefit your waistline and your bank account.

"The cost of being obese to you at the individual level is a pretty significant cost," Ferguson said, "but weight loss, even in small increments could significantly impact your health, and help reduce the other costs you might be feeling."

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. JSC22

    Today more of the national income is spent on healthcare instead of food. 50 years ago more of the national income was spent on quality food than on healthcare. Is it a coincidence that the less we spend on food, the more we spend on healthcare? I think they are certainly related. You have to spend time/money on health now (physical activity, healthy foods) or later (medical bills, recovery). Prevention is always easier than curing what ails you. For some easy health tips check out this fantastic blog: http://blog.mydiscoverhealth.com

    September 21, 2010 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jake L.


    I'm doing some research on this topic. Can you direct me to the report where you got these stats?

    September 21, 2010 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Janet

    Obesity is linked directly to food chemicals that destroy the insulin receptors. Diabetes and ALL obesity is related to blood sugar and it is the fault of the drug and food makers poison in the food supply. This is proven!!

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes WITHOUT medications in now 10 countries and one of the side effects was the reversal of obesity DRUG free
    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    September 21, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ed - Spring, Tx

      Obesity is linked to stuffing too much food into your mouth and not enough exercise. Very simple. No conspiracy.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • Ballz

      Yeah...Im type 2 diabetic and still have to agree with Ed...put down the fork. American processed foods are the worst but eventually obese folks need to learn about a proper diet. After all, its not just for diabetics.
      Not to mention, obese women dont look very good. No offense, its just hard to look at.

      September 22, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
  4. Julia

    Shouldn't we be making more of a fuss that a woman's physical features will cost her actual wages if she doesn't uphold someone else's warped standards of beauty? I understand the need to stress physical fitness, but we should also be angry that a woman's appearance will still cost her opportunities and pay, despite her competence in the workplace.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • natalie

      So true. My co-worker has been trying to find another job for forever and can't figure out why no one will hire her. She's 450 lbs.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • perilous

      You'd think so, but alas, the knuckle-dragging barbarians who possess this mind set still rule the world, and as long as they are led by the head in their pants instead of the head on their shoulders, this will be the prevailing wind that guides our ships.

      Even so, I blame women more than men for this these days. We know well what men are like. It's been like this throughout history. Men have ever made women non-equal. Today, it is the women who do not refuse to accept this kind of nonsense that allow it to be perpetuated. They couldn't do it to us if we flatly refused to accept it. Unfortunately, too many women do continue to accept it, and even defend it, and so the rest of us must struggle against it alone and suffer the consequences until they grow a brain and a spine to match and at long last put their foot down against it.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
    • Pat R

      Sure, except there are also plenty of times when a woman's beauty works for her, so in my view it evens out. Unfortunately, I think women (and men, for that matter) are too quick to assume "other factors" were the cause of them not getting what they want (e.g. a woman will say "it's because I don't fit society's standard" or a man will say "it's because I'm bald"). And, like it or not, there are "unwritten rules": if you know them but still don't want to play by them, then you can only blame yourself; e.g. if you're an overweight woman and you know society favors slim/hard-bodied women, then do what it takes to stack the deck in your favor (HEALTHILY) - and don't say "I don't have time" since everyone has 24 hrs in a day; it's how you manage your time.

      September 21, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • mer

      maybe the wage losses aren't entirely because of 'appearance', but rather fear of productivity loss/ increased likelihood of illness ect...the article made no mention of the type of work that the women in the study were doing vs. the type of work that the men in the study were doing. This article is brief and though I don't disagree that women are often harshly judged on their appearance, I don't think that it was specifically insisting that women's wages were lower because of other people's perception of beauty.. It's wrong to jump to conclusions about these types of studies without knowing the details or the possible shortomings of the study itself.

      September 21, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse |
  5. bob in calif

    the author of this study can be reached at avidor@gwu.edu.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Fixer2010

    That was my thought, exactly, Julia. A man's obesity is overlooked in the workplace, however, a woman is still expected to live up to that standard of beauty society has tried to instill in us. Double-standards at their best.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. George

    At Julia: not really thats all your good for eye candy and cleaning.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      You aren't too smart yourself George. I believe it should read To Julia, not At Julia and it would be you're, as in you are, not your as in owndership. I guess you would only be qualified for a cleaning job as well George. A janitorial position would be good for you I think. To think women bring men like you into this world. How sad!

      September 21, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • George

      To Jen: Shut up woman and go get my beer!

      September 21, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
    • Drazul

      OMG...digital bullying in progress....nobody needs to off yourself...its all in fun.

      September 22, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
  8. ipeek

    There are infinitely more jokes and stigmas against obese women then obese men... mostly because men can be overweight without getting "the eye" for their crime. Society says, "Men are men, and women are failing fashion models." Any woman over 140 pounds these days is stared at and judged, and automatically scrutinized for anything she might dare to eat in public. But women are not all built like slim Asian movie stars and that old, blind remark of "well, don't stuff food in your mouth!" is prejudiced crap that doesn't take into account pregnancies, hormone fluctuations, metabolism and various illnesses that NATURALLY put some women at a higher body fat count. Men can buy inexpensive clothes in larger sizes and not be criticized for looking slovenly, whereas women have to spend more money and live under designers' prejudices. Anything over a Size 8 plummets you into a world of cheap materials and "hide the paunch" fashion styles (designers despise the fatties–a Size 12 woman certainly can't go shopping on Melrose Avenue!).

    When I was in college in Michigan, I had a roommate get angry at me one evening and call me a "fat cow." So to make HER feel better about how I looked, I went home that summer and started running, cut my meals in half and lost nearly 30 pounds in less than three months, dropping down from almost 170 to just under 140. The effort cost me, though; I ended up with fatigue, shin splints and anemia. (But hey, I looked good, right? And that's all that matters!) Only... when I returned for the Fall semester, she looked at me (in my brand-new and smaller clothes, with my clearer complexion and new haircut), sneered at me in disbelief and open disgust, and asked point-blank, "Did you gain WEIGHT!?!"

    Lesson learned: YOU CAN NEVER MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY. And you will never "look good" enough for other people, either, so save yourself the personal agony about being perfect.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blondegeisha

      Excellent post ipeek, as a recovered anorexic I was prey to the media who encourages skeletal figures walking down runways. I looked in the mirror and saw a fat person,at the time I was 5 foot 10 and 108 pounds. Fortunately for me I was able to reverse all this nonsense and recover to a healthy weight. May I add menopause has not been kind,it is a constant battle for me to stay slender but not skeletal. I encourage all women to be proud of themselves,happy with their looks and close those fashion magazines,those people just aren't real.

      September 21, 2010 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
  9. sasha

    I would like to know WHY Insurance companies aren't increasing Obese people's premiums like they do for Smokers? They have diabetes, bad backs, bad knees, lost wages due to medical problems and so on from being overweight. I don't smoke, but I think it's only right that that Obese people should pay too. Might be an incentive on their part to lose some weight.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • daddy

      THe smokers are going to start paying alot more very soon on their health insurance. The economy can olny afford so much for healthcare. It is time for all americans to have some civil and morale responsibilites. Don't smoke, don't be fat. dont use drugs because we as a nation cant bare the cost of these habbits.

      September 21, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • Catherine

      Sasha asked why "obese" individuals are not paying higher premiums. I believe they are. If you are out of range of normal body-mass index (weight/hight index) than you may be considered a higher risk. Insurance applications ask for your height and weight as do life insurance applications.

      September 21, 2010 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
    • CR

      Some insurance companies do, especially if it's a personal policy [not through an employer]. I feel like it should be that way for all policies, group or non-group.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Adrienne

      Unless it's through a company that has more of a pay one price for all type situation, they do! I had to apy nearly double on my life insurance for being obese and my health insurance outside of work takes a pertty massive increase too. It sucks, but is a fact of life.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • Celeste

      What about someone who has torn up and injured their knees to the point where even walking is painful, and then has put on weight due to the fact that they went from once being very active to not being able to get any exercise without pain?

      A lot of people have gained weight as a result of a knee or back injury.

      Even diabetes isn't always weight related. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune problem, so it has nothing to do with weight, and most people that get it are otherwise healthy. And the insulin shots that they take can wreak havoc on someone trying to maintain a healthy weight. A lot of type 1 diabetics that are overweight are so because of the insulin and other meds they have to take, despite the fact that they must keep a much more restricted diet than the typical healthy weight person.

      So these conditions that you state as being caused by obesity, can be completely independent of weight and actually cause weight gain as a side-effect, yet people like you in the public will critize them as if their condition is a choice they made. Just sayin.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • JR

      @Celeste- I am sympathetic to the knee/joint problem. I too suffer pain in my lower body just walking- I still walk w/ my dogs as often as my schedule allows. Suggesting that disease processes like diabetes (type 1 or 2)"cause" obesity is much like saying that maggots cause garbage. It is about choices and changes. I am aware of the effects of the drugs on one's body, and the changes in diet and lifestyle one must make with various diseases. Still, choices and changes. There are healthy options available.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    I didn't even realize we were now charging obese women to be obese. Some sort of new tax?

    September 21, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CTR

      Just got finished reading the health care bill and did not see the "obese" tax, But now you've turned Obama on to ANOTHER new tax! Thanks a lot!

      September 21, 2010 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • JR

      It's sort of a "stupid tax," as I read in a finance book or blog. One pays more for not being as smart as they could've been. We've all paid it at some point; some continue to pay it. In the case of the overweight/ obese, they should pay more for services. It costs society more to have them around; look up the numbers. More in healthcare dollars, lost work, transportation, and that's just off the top of my head; we could get into injuries caused on the job and related costs.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  11. Pres

    Women actually tend to judge each other more harshly on appearance than most men do. The standard of beauty most women subscribe to is that of gay men, who run the fashion industry, and other women who uphold it. If you check older patriarchal societies such as Renaissance Italy or Ancient Greece you will see that the ideal of beauty was a curvy woman, but nowadays women consider that type "fat."

    Men however consider that attractive. That is why you will see those women in relationships, because men don't care.

    September 21, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Monica Gee

    Here's the deal ... people who make insensitive remarks about weight say more about themselves than they do about the person they insult. I am saddened that our society is so obsessed by looks and less concerned with character. People who are cruel are much more damaging to people and society overall. Why don't we have "Cruel Watchers" for people who can't stop being mean ? People are obese for many complex psychological and biological reasons. This insane focus on obesity in recent years is nothing more than the latest flavour of bigotry.

    September 21, 2010 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      Sorry but i don't want to be smothered while having intercourse.

      September 21, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Zammo

      So, the mean people got you down? Feeling "offended" by people making honest observations? Oh, let's all be so nice and polite while a self-caused catastrophic medical condition is killing hundreds of thousands and costing billions upon billions in extra health care costs. Hurt feelings is merely an emotional reaction that is hardly befitting of "strong and independent" women who can easily learn to eat less and move more.

      September 21, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • CR

      LOL @ George. Wow man.

      I think that you choose whether or not to be hurt by comments on overweight / obese people. If you are overweight because of emotional reasons, that's your own fault for not being strong-willed. I'm so sick of this "I can't help that I'm fat!" mentality. Yes, you can. You are just too lazy to do anything about it. End of story.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
    • Again

      Here we go again blaming the high cost of healthcare on the obese. Why not blame all sick or handicapped for high healthcare costs rather than looking at the companies charging ridiculous amounts for basic supplies and equiopment and services renered by healthcare professionals. We don't blame drivers for the rise in Oil costs do we? I mean to still be in a system that charges over $5.00 for 1 aspirin is the thing we should be moaning about and changing...we are all getting the shaft and I guess it's this years scapegoat are fat people!! Let's put the blame on healthcare costs where they belong!!!

      October 4, 2010 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  13. TwinsTimeTwo

    How many people have been told by their doctor to lose weight and exercise more and then don't help them to move forward. My nurse friend put together a wonderful program that really works, it is safe, and it does not cost and arm and a leg and you can use when traveling. I'm glad I used it.. Go see it todaydropweight.com.

    September 21, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Durine

    I'm pretty sure that obese women suffer more wage loss because of their reaction to male comments about size. If a bunch of guys are at working talking and comment on how joe is looking rather round all you get is a laugh. If the same thing happens but a woman is involved, men become stressed about her response. Is this going to be harrassment, am i gonna get in trouble ect. So the men do the natural thing, and remove the stress causing factor. In any other situation this would be the proper thing to do. If a football game is stressing us out we are told to turn the channel. If a work place stress is caused by a female presence we are told to suck it up and change our behaviour.

    September 21, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Claire

      Durine, you shouldn't be commenting on anyone's appearance at work whether they are male or female. It's inappropriate. It may affect your working relationship with them and thus impact YOUR ability to do your job. Finally, it's unprofessional.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
  15. russ

    @ Monica and others – Fat pigs are fat pigs! The trendy thing of trying to excuse them for being pigs is silly!

    Reduce the input and make it healthy foods along with exercise and wonders can happen!

    September 21, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PersonalResponsibility

      There was a time when you looked in the mirror and said I am gaining a few pounds and correct the problem.Nowadays it is just BLAME everyone else except the person shoving 10 cheeseburgers down their throat....those were the days

      September 21, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
  16. Janet

    Intelligent people know that The diabetes and obesity problem is caused by food chemicals. This is the true but the FDA and diabetes drug makers rake in BILLIONS$$$ looking for a drug but will not remove the chemicals.

    This is a drug makers scam! The FDA knows that there is a filmmaker who has been reversing diabetes in now 10 countries worldwide WITHOUT DRUGS but they do not promote this to the people.
    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET or click here http://spirithappy.wordpress.com

    September 21, 2010 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Iagree2

      Yes it is that darn FDA and government's fault!!! How about a nice ham?

      September 21, 2010 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  17. FattsMcgee

    I think it is more than 33 percent and what about morbidly obese?...look around where are all the healthy fit people? did the fat people eat them? Oprah says it is okay to be obese so it is okay...I guess...What is Oprah these days? overweight,Obese or morbidly obese? Don't worry Oprah will start that Yo-yo Diet tomorrow!

    September 21, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. George

    If it makes you people feel any better, I wouldn't hire a fat woman OR man. If you're too damn lazy to take care of yourself, why would you work at your job any harder?

    September 21, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PersonalResponsibility

      I agree! plus male or female smokers who take a break every 2 hours to go smoke...non-smokers want a gum break!....Unproductive means unemployed ......maybe there is a reason for the high unemployment rate..what can you do for the company FATTIE and SMOKERS?

      September 21, 2010 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • C A

      Interesting logic, I guess, if you are strictly focused on appearance, but the last time I checked I found people in general to be a bit more intelligent and complex than you appear to be.
      I haven't fallen into the skinny catagory since 20 years of arthritis and a broken back began impacting my health, but I still manage to work 60 hour workweeks at two jobs, plus time for exercise and family. No, I'll never be able to look like I did before my injuries and illnesses, but the extra weight hasn't impacted my abililty to do my jobs or stay in otherwise good health. Overweight does not automatically mean bad health, nor does it mean bad eating habits; it's just easier for some people to make generalizations, which is far lazier than thinking.

      September 21, 2010 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • emily k

      Sorry George, by saying what you just did, if you don't hire someone based on that itself, you can be sued for a lot of money and get fired yourself if you don't run the company yourself

      September 21, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
  19. dT

    I completely agree with most of you that a person's weight should never factor in deciding compensation. Production should decide compensation. However, the fact is, skinny cute women can generally produce more. Not necessarily through increased movement though. Of course it varies depending on the business, but take bartender for example. You can't tell me a gorgeous female bartender won't earn more than an overweight one. Same in sales. Same in politics. So scoff at it if you want, but its not the employers, its the consumers that are making it this way. Now take an overweight man. Appeal is rarely part of the equation. It has more to do with authority. Who's more authoritative than a big guy? Some skinny little guy will not be given the instant credibility. Sorry, this is our world, and its sick.

    September 21, 2010 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Claire

      I can't speak for bartending, but I can for sales. In the field I'm in (high tech), the individual's knowledge and sales ability determines their success not their appearance. We have a long sales cycle and our deals tend to many hundred thousands to several millions which might make a difference. I suppose a cute female sales clerk in a clothing store might be more successful than a obese one. I can't speak to that, but I can say it is ability not appearance that matters when you're selling technology.

      September 21, 2010 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
  20. Gaz

    Healthcare for women costs more in general, but to say so is seen as sexist, uless ofcourse they smoke.

    September 21, 2010 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. DeeDee

    While I have been overweight for years, actually obese by some standards. I have only missed a total of 3 weeks off from work for illness (the flu) in the last 30 years. I have seen my doctor and incurred medical expense only twice in that same time – I have been given a clean bill of health. I am overweight, but fit. I have more skinny friends that are seriously ill, lose lots of time from work, and cost lots in health care. Also, I don't know any fat people with cancer, only skinny ones, so I am not sure where this obesity inicreases your risk of cancer comes from. These folks were never fat. According to my dcotor, the media has created this hype and everyone buys it. Either you are fit and healthy or you are not, despite size. Period.

    September 21, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. wren

    Studies like this are always interesting. Higher weights are associated with lower salaries for women. Okay, but are they "associated" with them because over-weight women tend to come from lower socio-economic backgrounds/have less education (as other studies have found)and therefore earn less money or do the extra pounds result in lower salaries, a very different thing. I suspect that it is probably some of both. Additionally, the weight itself tends to generate its own issues: lower self-esteem and confidence that can hamper interview skills and play into job performance. Weight is a complex biological mechanism and anyone callus enough to think that all there is to it for a 450 pound person is that they need to stop eating and exercise, is clearly some level of imagination and has won genetic lotto. No one wants to be fat.

    September 21, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. emily k

    This is just another topic of the week that everyone loves to talk about, but not do anything to solve it.

    September 21, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. nay h

    To Celeste, you are right. Diabetic treatments can cause weight gain. I had a friend gain nearly 60 pounds from her insulin shots. She was a healthy person, active, ate very well, but her insulin made her gain IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, she couldn't go without her medications since she finally found something that worked for her.

    Everyone is quick to assume that EVERY fat person is lazy, eats a lot, etc. Granted, a vast majority of people end up greatly overweight because of certain factors, but not every person that's overweight is lazy nor a poor eater. It's quite tiring of everyone pointing fingers saying it's because of cake, and every fat person is diabetic and unhealthy.

    I know skinny chicks with diabetes and I know skinny chicks that can't jog more than five steps without falling over wheezing for dear life.

    Not saying I deserve pity for my fatness, nor am I blaming anyone or anything, but I also get pretty annoyed at people and their ignorant comments. I'll never be skinny...it's not in my build. I could stand to lose a big amount of weight, but I'll NEVER be skinny. I also won't live forever, so why would I spend my ENTIRE LIFE dedicated to trying to fit to an ignorant person's standards?

    September 21, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drazul

      maybe because you would live longer and have a better quality of life rather than dragging around some piece of medical gear or being confined to a wheelchair and just an overall better life? You may even surprise yourself. It wont happen overnight, but if you at least start to care about yourself more it will be worth it in the long run, that is if you even care about your life in the first place. Otherwise, do it right and end it quick so there isnt any more burden on an already failing healthcare system.
      Only you can make it happen and it wont if you stay buried behind some lcd monitor staring at facebook all day wishing for a better you. Just make it happen

      September 22, 2010 at 08:52 | Report abuse |
  25. Young Sinatra

    Stop eatting red meat just fish & poultry. And start drinking water. You'll lose weight.

    September 21, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Pete

    I get the complaints but I think weight is very low on the list of problems with fair employment. Far worse is agism and the stigma against ugly people. At least overweight people can lose weight but if your old or ugly there isn't much you can do about it..

    So while i do find it hard to get to the weight I want – so I do sympathize some with the plight of obese individuals its really a pretty small and controllable problem.

    September 22, 2010 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Dave

    I can't even get my pants on! That's what I'm talkin' about!

    But I really could use more money.

    September 22, 2010 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Drazul

    How do you say, "PUT DOWN THE FORK!" in spanish so the majority of America can understand more clearly

    September 22, 2010 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jeff

    Future CNN headline:

    World Ends, All Dead. How women were affected.

    September 22, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drazul

      Rosie Bighead-Odonnell will be happy at least...

      September 22, 2010 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
    • HealthyRunner

      CNN unfortunately is following Fox News school of Journalism.Shock and RATINGS!Even making it worse is they are begging their audience to call in and report a story.Once in a while it works but most of time it is an absolute joke.Bernard Shaw who I really respect is highly critical of this "new journalism." Elliot Spitzer ...really CNN really?

      September 23, 2010 at 07:23 | Report abuse |
  30. HealthyRunner

    It also could be viewed as eating healthy slims your wallet also.If you want to eat healthy it costs more money plain and simple.Please read the labels of all your foods and the fact is people throw around "organic" "whole foods" quite a bit but read the label and read what type of preservatives are being used.I have always viewed eating like fueling your car because that is all it is. Hey it is okay to splurge once in a while because you only live once.I worked with a girl who ate goat's head.It is her choice but the smell of it made us all nauseated.Eat healthy Stay Active

    September 23, 2010 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mary

    Ladies – I'm so thankful for my local Curves. Their weight management plan is the greatest and I've learned a lot about eating healthier. It's great to be able to read a food label and know when a product contains trans fats even though it says it does not. I also enjoy my 1/2 hour complete body workouts. What a great solution to a healthier, educated lifestyle!

    September 23, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. steve

    I truly believe all fatties should be charged more for healthcare!
    If I workout, live healthy and stay away from the poison foods, why should my rates be high, the same as those who will be checking out at an early age?

    November 28, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phred

      Because you will live longer and cost them more money over the long term.

      November 29, 2010 at 05:49 | Report abuse |
  33. snoozey

    Agreed. And it's not just from health problems they call in sick. There are many who become tired very quickly and just can't keep up with the pace. This tends to be interpreted as laziness by others, which ends up costing that person in terms of career advancement.

    I frankly don't know what it's like being seriously obese, but I am very passionate about the issue because of the harm I've seen on other's healths. It's sad to watch young people with absolutely no energy to do anything and who need cholesterol medication. But what do you do, really? You can watch people who know better go back for that second slice of cake and then take an hour nap on the couch after the sugar crash and suffer health problems from feeling bad all of the time, but how do these people overcome the lack of hope that things can improve with just the addition of SOME exercise and SOME reduction in calories? You don't have to kill yourself with a 2 hour exercise routine, and you don't have to eat nothing but lettuce and carrot sticks. It makes me sad and a bit frustrated because I don't know what to do.

    November 29, 2010 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.