Study: Weight Loss Equals Financial Gain

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Losing weight will improve your health, but also help you save thousands of dollars.

A study released Tuesday by George Washington University researchers showed the annual overall cost for being obese is $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men.

The study factored in things like sick days taken at work, the cost of extra gasoline, medical bills, and the loss of productivity.

It is more expensive for women to be obese, because according to the study, obese women earn less money than healthy women -- while obese men earn about the same as healthy men.

The report also shows a gender difference in the economic value of lost life. This factor raises the women's annual obesity costs up to $8,365, and men's to $6,518.

Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese.

"We're paying a very high price as a society for obesity, and why don't we think about it as a problem of enormous magnitude to our economy?" asked Dr. Kevin Schulman, a professor of medicine and health economist at Duke University who wasn't involved in the new report. "We're creating obesity and we need to do a man-on-the-moon effort to solve this before those poor kids in elementary school become diabetic middle-aged people."

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