Should You Put Your Obese Clients on a Diet?

June 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2004, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p24
Academic Journal
The article cites some studies which revealed the impact of obesity on a person's finances. Several related stories highlight the potential impact of weight on one's finances. First, a study by Swiss Re, the world's largest life and health insurer, says that obesity has ballooned so much in some parts of the world that the resulting shorter life expectancies could offset or raise what have been declining life insurance premiums. Swiss Re said that obesity, as defined by the World Health Organization based on body fat measurements, has increased by two- to threefold in the last 20 years in the U.S. and Great Britain, and it is expected to rise in the developing world. Meanwhile, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit plans recently outlined the impact of rising obesity on employer-sponsored health care plans. It noted that a study by Health Affairs indicates that annual medical spending has increased an average 34.7 percent due to obesity and 14.5 percent due to the overweight population. Adding weight to this problem, a Finnish study contends that highly educated but obese women earn about 30 percent less a year than normal-weight or even plump women. Being overweight did not appear to affect the pay for men, poorly educated women, women working in manual labor jobs and the self-employed.


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