A compilation of factoids I’ve accumulated over the years, sourced from many different articles. Something to think about….
“An annual fat tax of $483 on every man, woman, and child in the nation. That bill—$2,415 out of my family’s annual budget, which is more than we spent last year on clothes—is likely to grow”
“The extra cost of medical care for obesity in the United States was $147 billion in 2011”
“Apart from the extra medical cost to employers, a cost that ranges from an additional $400 to $2,000 a year for each full-time obese employee, fat also burdens companies with extra costs in the form of absenteeism, reduced performance, workers’ compensation and disability claims, and premature death.”
“Productivity lost to overweight and obesity in the United States works out to $144 billion a year, according to a recent estimate by the Lewin Group, a health-care consulting firm.”
“Growing obesity rates increase fuel consumption,” said engineer Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois. How much? An additional 938 million gallons of gasoline each year due to overweight and obesity in the United States, or 0.8 percent, he calculated. That’s $4 billion extra.” And the extra carbon emissions? Close to a 100,000 metric tons of CO2.
Average amount of body fat (in pounds) gained from “upsizing” a fastfood value meal three times a week for a year
Percentage of unnecessary calories your body stores as excess weight after you wolf them down
Average cost of adding 100 calories—about 18 Cheez-Its’ worth—to your diet every day for a year
Percentage increase in a man’s likelihood of not being in the mood for sex if he’s obese
Number of times a man misses out on sex in a year if he’s obese
“If everybody paired off according to weight, then being heavy wouldn’t affect your probability of having sex,” says Cawley. “This means some obese people are not willing to date each other.”
Percentage increase in a man’s likelihood of suffering erectile dysfunction if he’s overweight
Amount by which annual medical spending on an insured obese person surpasses spending on a normal-weight person
Estimated amount of U.S. health-care spending attributed to obesity in 2011 “Obese people use more health care, but most don’t pay any more for health insurance from their employer or the government,” Cawley says. “Lighter people are subsidizing them.”
Wage penalty for obese men in the United States
Average yearly cost of obesity-related medical expenses incurred by a company with 1,000 employees
Percentage of respondents who would rather go bald than permanently gain 20 pounds
We laugh at comb-overs, but we scoff at spare tires. “With balding, there’s no perception of personal responsibility,” says Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., research director at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “With obesity, there’s a common reaction of disgust—the assumption that you lack self-control.”
Percentage of respondents who would rather lose an arm than permanently pack on 100 pounds.
This one also boils down to blame. “In our country, it’s considered your fault if you’re fat,” says Puhl. “But if we see a disabled person, we don’t assume they were driving drunk and had a car accident. Instead we assume they were born that way or were injured. We feel empathy, not judgment.”
Percentage of respondents who think it would be worse to permanently gain 100 pounds than have their wife cheat on them
Percentage of respondents who’d consider it grounds for divorce if their wife gained 100 pounds
Amount of weight gain respondents consider a dealbreaker in a dating relationship “Men may perceive their social status as being lower if their partner is overweight,” says Puhl. “Part of this may be due to the social contagion effect—if you associate with an obese person, you may be stigmatized too.” In a 2005 Obesity Research study, men said they would prefer a sexual partner who is missing an arm, is in a wheelchair, or has a history of suicide attempts or STDs over an obese bedmate.
Percentage of respondents who would rather lose their job than permanently gain 50 pounds
“Even if you keep your job, gaining weight could affect advancement,” says Puhl. The Journal of Vocational Behavior reports that an obese employee is 37 times more likely to report job discrimination—a missed promotion, an unfair termination—than a normal-weight person.
Percentage of respondents who would rather drown in debt for the next decade than permanently put on 50 pounds
Percentage of respondents who would prefer a foreclosure on their home than a permanent gain of 100 pounds