Is There A Correlation Between Obesity and Wealth For Women?

by Paula | April 8, 2014 1:04 am

A reader sent me an article from The Atlantic, revealing statistics surrounding this topic.  I think the results are critical on several levels; one, it highlights what socio-economic areas need to be better educated about the health problems, health-care problems, and financial implications that arise due to obesity.  Second, the studies are important because it shows how women need to empower each other to live a healthier lifestyle and how it impacts their ability to support themselves and their families. 

In communities across the world, obesity has become a more impactful issue than hunger.  The author of the article, Olga Khazan, reveals that there are financial impacts of this fact, as well as health issues, to the people who suffer from obesity, their families and their communities.

Over the last 10 years a trend has changed across the United States showing that women were previously 33.4 percent more likely than men (27.5 %) to be obese.  But, over the last 14 years the men have trended up to meet the women’s statistic.  Not a positive movement, but interesting to the trend.

According to Khazan, women and men show a different correlation between income and obesity.  Women become thinner as they become wealthier, while men do the opposite. Why should we care?  Because women are treated differently in the workplace involving salary.  Obese women are tagged negatively twice!  They trend lower in salary in general, and obese women trend even lower in the salary department. The result is that the cost of obesity includes being paid less, higher life insurance premiums, a loss of productivity, higher sick leave, higher percentage for depression and higher medical costs.  Also, most women are the primary care givers for children, and obesity makes that process more difficult.  Statistics also show that obese women in the U.S. are less likely to get married than their normal weight-peers and are about half as likely to attend college.

The solution for these trends is controversial.  I’m pro-education for most health oriented issues about healthy eating, cooking and regular fitness.  That is the main catalyst for me starting[1].  I felt if some bit of information that I shared impacted my readers in a positive way that left them feeling more energized and healthier, than I have provided my community a real service.  But is education enough to change this alarming trend of American obesity?  Particularly women?  Maybe not, but if everyone considered this issue as important as I did, then we could envision it as if we were ‘raising a village’ and it might make a difference!


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