Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cost Analysis

According to this CNN/Heath video that they were showing in my doctor's waiting room, a person can save an average of $176 a year if they are at the correct weight. However, a gym membership costs $240 a year. So, often it's cheaper to just be fat.


  1. Let us remember that Ramen noodles on special at the supermarket (5 for $1) are often the meal of choice for the working poor. Either that, or mac and cheese bought in bulk. Starches are fattening.

    Barbara Ehrenrich pointed out in Nickel and Dimed that when she asked for assistance at her local food bank, this is what she got: 21 ounces of Honey Nut Chex cereal; 24 ounces of Grape Nuts, 20 ounces barbecue sauce, several small plastic bags of candy, 13 ounces iced sugar cookies, hamburger buns, six 6-ounce Minute Maid juice coolers, loaf of bread, Star Wars fruit snacks, one loaf of cinnamon bread, 18 ounces of peanut butter, 16 ounces of canned ham, shampoo, one bar of soap, four Rice Krispies Treats bars, two Ritz Cracker packages, one 5-ounce Swanson canned chicken breast, 2 ounces of drink mix similar to Kool-Aid and two Lady Speed Stick deoderants. There are a lot of starches on here, and since she didn't have a refrigerator, she would have had to consume the protein given to her in one setting.

    Also, there is the fast food factor. If you figure people eat out at least three times a week at a fast food place, they might spend $5 a day, $15 a week, which translates to $750 a year, if they take two weeks a year to not patronize those places.

    And let us not forget cigarettes. At let's say, $30 a carton for a week, that's $1,560 a year.

    This is more than enough to pay for a gym membership, but if you are scraping by the best you can, yes, it IS cheaper to just be fat. Statistics show that quite a few poor people are fat or morbidly obese, as opposed to those with better paying jobs.

    Interestingly, several hundred years ago, overweight people were considered wealthy because it was assumed they had enough to eat and didn't have to work hard for it. Now, it's the other way around.

  2. Some smoke in order to keep their weight down. However, smoking has been judged to be as unhealthy as being 100 pounds overweight. It depends on your priorities of course. Most people wish to lose weight in order to look good, not for health reasons. It's easier to smoke than it is to work out on a daily basis, plus you get to enjoy that cool, rich, menthol flavor.

    The government has a vested interest in reducing health care costs, so that is why it encourages people to lose weight. The government also has a vested interest in getting people to die early so that they collect less in Social Security, so that is why the government subsidizes tobacco farmers.