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Losing weight can trim expenses over a lifetime

By Len Canter, HealthDay News
If you're in your 40s, going from obese to overweight saves you around $18,000, researchers estimated. Photo by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
If you're in your 40s, going from obese to overweight saves you around $18,000, researchers estimated. Photo by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

If you're overweight or obese, shedding pounds can help improve your health and your longevity. What's more, doing so may also significantly boost your bank balance.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore wanted to know how a person's expenses and income might change if their weight went from obese to overweight to normal at different ages.

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So they created a computer simulation that looked at a person's health and weight over the years. They considered time lost from work, health complications related to being overweight -- such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes -- and direct medical costs to insurers and health care facilities, among other things.

How much could you save? If you're 20, the research, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that slimming down from obese to overweight saves you more than $17,000 in direct medical costs and lost productivity over your lifetime. Reach a healthy weight and the savings exceed $28,000.

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If you're in your 40s, going from obese to overweight saves you around $18,000. Drop to a healthy weight and you'll net an average lifetime savings of about $31,000.

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Savings peak for those who slim down in the midlife years. A 50-year-old who goes from obese to overweight can see a lifetime savings of about $36,000. You'll add even more cash to your wallet if you work toward a healthy weight.

While there can be significant health costs associated with overweight, it's interesting to note that more than half of these costs are related to missed days at work.

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Rethink your diet strategy today and you could be adding money to your nest egg tomorrow.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for healthy weight loss to get you started.

RELATED Weight-loss drug may reduce seizures in kids with severe form of epilepsy

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