Wealth and Health Go Hand in Hand

It is official… Americans are the fattest they’ve ever been! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 63% of adults in the US are now overweight or obese. Now, considering the fact most of us sit in front of a screen of some sort for more than nine hours each day entertaining ourselves with programs such as “The Biggest Loser,” we really shouldn’t be surprised by this new stat. However, we should definitely be concerned with wealth and health.

So, what is it that is contributing to this alarming trend? Many fingers might instantly point at the restaurants and junk food providers. Others may even blame the media and gaming consoles of the world. Although there might be some logic in doing so, this article is focused on the correlation between wealth and health, family incomes, and family waistlines.

Is it a coincidence that Americans are heavier than ever and that the nation’s poverty rate is the highest it has been in 18 years? Currently, about 15% of the American population is considered “poor” under the official definition. When comparing the wealthiest states to the healthiest states, it is easy to see there is a definite correlation between the slimmer elites and the chubbier lower class.

Does this mean only rich people can be healthy? Of course not! Let’s look at a few ways Americans can overcome some of the most prevalent expenses of a sleek physique.

Healthy Food  

It is true that healthy food is expensive if you need it to be convenient. When looking to the value menus of the country expect to consume about 19 grams of fat and close to 400 calories for a quick burger. On the other hand, if you plan ahead, you can take advantage of the fact that whole grains are the cheapest foods you can buy and are extremely good for you. If you need a low-cost protein, then take a good look at eggs. Fruits and vegetables can be spendy as a group, but certain products, such as carrots and bananas, are very inexpensive options. The key to eating healthy for less is to plan your meals in advance, eat fruits and vegetables in season and take advantage of good deals.

Exercise Equipment

You’re looking at $1,500 for a good treadmill, and a decent in-home gym will be closer to $3,000. Of course, as an alternative, you can always jog outside, do push-ups, and other little things like choosing the stairs over the elevator. Now, if you still feel like you must have the equipment, then consider shopping the classifieds for something used. Another often overlooked, the solution is to pick up broken exercise equipment for cheap (if not free) and then simply repair it. There are many websites that sell replacement parts for fitness equipment that are decently priced and can often teach you how to do the repair yourself. If you are unable to find the parts you need through these types of sites, Amazon or eBay often have the replacement parts you need.

Forget Cosmetic Surgery  

Many people would love it if their work’s health insurance policy covered an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). You’ll pay over $5,000 for the surgeon alone, not to mention anesthesia and the hospital stay. Seriously though, don’t even consider cosmetic surgery. You don’t need it. The benefits are superficial and will not compare to the confidence and energy you’ll get from getting fit the good old fashion way… self-mastery. Just take baby steps and learn to control yourself through healthy habits. This same self-control will come in handy when it comes to sticking to your budget.

Once again, the facts definitely show a clear correlation between the average income and obesity percentage by state. If this correlation rings true with you, then consider the solutions suggested above as a way to help you bring your state’s obesity rate down.