If you worry about your weight, you are not alone.
The issue of being overweight and the problems that come with seems to be a
modern American malady. Much like smoking seemed impossible to stop
twenty years ago, weight problems and obesity are today's behavior problem
in the 2000s. Per capita and by generation, U.S. eaters are fatter as a country
than just about any other region in the world. Much of it has to do with our
accepted-behavioral standards based on consumerism today.
Americans are approximately two-thirds overweight among all adults. This means that two out of three people in the
U.S. today are walking around with more weight than they need to be carrying. Among the same total population,
almost 15 percent are what we socially and medically define as extreme obese.
Since 1991 this statistic has more than doubled.
And the common occurrence of weight problems is not cheap either. Aside from
the fact that there is more food consumption and grocery costs, weight problems
also drive more expenses for dealing with being larger. Whether it be from having
to hunt down bigger clothes sizes or purchase larger cars
to fit in properly, being big is not cheap. Want to fly on a
plane and feel comfortable in your seat? Good luck. Most
plane seats today are designed for people who weigh
150 lbs total. Large folks have to pay for an extra seat to
not feel squished in transit.
It is estimated today that the expense for the U.S. as a
whole to deal with being overweight is reaching almost
$300 billion in expenses. While this cost is very loose
aggregate of all the expenses associated with weight
problems, and would probably decrease with some scrutiny as to what makes up the number,
the actual combined expense is still very high. Business alone per economists pushing for
employee health reforms figure it chips in almost $13 billion a year to address the issue.
And the defining factor seems to be when an employee reaches above a specific body mass
index (BMI) level. The BMI measurement basically defines a ratio for a person's height versus
their weight. When the ratio is off from what would be an acceptable norm, the person is then
technically overweight. While very general in application, there is correlation between extreme
BMI levels and increasing health costs for employers. Those employees whose BMI is below 27.5, the medical
expenses for insurance coverage seem to be stable. However, when the employee gets over 30, then the employer's
cost seems to start increasing rapidly.