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Lose Weight and Build Wealth:

Obesity is not only spurning a health crisis in America, but individuals carrying extra weight suffer from decreased personal wealth as research has shown that the fatter a person is, the less money they will earn.

Over the past decades, the average American has gotten much larger than previous generations. Reports indicate the average Jane now weighs 164.7 pounds while the average Joe carries around 190 pounds; that is 15.4 pounds and 17.1 pounds more than their respective forefathers and mothers ( Not only will that extra weight increase the odds of a person developing dental problems and multiple health issues, but the bigger a guy or gal is, the smaller their paychecks will be.

America's Obesity Epidemic

Prior to the 1900s and during the early evolution of the nation, being pleasantly plump was considered to be a sign of wealth and status as those who carried the extra pounds showed that they had enough financial resources to eat well. Fast-forward to the current time period and the trend switched from being chic to eek as now, carrying too much weight is known to be an indicator of future health problems.

Prior to the industrialization of the nation at the advent of such amenities such as television, computers, microwaves, cars and processed food, intense physical labor was a necessity for life. It was common for individuals to raise their own food, cook it from scratch and to walk for transportation and it was that expelled energy that help keep weight in check. For years that behavior was the norm and statistics from 1960 indicated that approximately 13.3 percent of the nation's population were obese (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics).

Unfortunately, the tables are turned and now popular components to the American way of life are part of the problem, not the solution. As most Americans now drive or rely on public transportation to get to A to B, less people are getting the physical activity they need to keep their calorie balances in check. Additionally, processed foods have gotten more convenient, affordable and since bigger portions are now the norm, individuals are eating more food that in most cases is less nutritious.

The results of this pattern are devastating. Presently, one out of every three adults is now categorized as obese and the numbers are expected to grow to a whopping 40 percent by 2018 ( As a result, health care expenditures are expected to grow by 9 percent or to $344 billion. Obese individuals should plan on spending more than $8,000 annually on medical bills in the future, an increase of around $2,500 (

Not only will larger folks have to pay more for health care they will have less personal assets from which to do so as research has shown the larger a person, the less money they will earn.

Extra Pounds Mean Less Earnings

Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (2004 and 2008 ) were recently analyzed. The numbers do not lie and show obese women earned $8,666 less and obese men earned $4,772 less than their slim and trim counterparts. This relationship further demonstrates how being overweight can destroy one's personal wealth. While some individuals carrying extra weight may believe they are still beautiful and healthy, the fact is the outside world may not see them as such, and this is not the first study showing how looks can negatively impact one's earning potential.

In 2011, Newsweek published the results of a study (utilizing online surveys and phone interviews) they did on the subject of how looks influence hiring managers. The results indicated that "...57 percent of managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate will have a harder time getting hired; 68 percent believe that, once hired, looks will continue to affect the way managers rate job performance," (

Not only will the less attractive have more difficulty finding work, once again those put in that category (regardless if it is for weight, bad skin or rotten teeth) will simply earn less money. According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, unattractive workers earn approximately 9 percent less per hour than their more comely counterparts. The most attractive employees tend to earn 5 percent more than average looking folks (

Obesity and Dental Health

With less money to their name, individuals will find it harder to pay for necessities like nutritious foods, shelter and dental care. Sadly, for those who are carrying too much weight, that can cause slews of dental problems that will require expensive dental treatments to correct. Once again proving how losing weight can help people save money on dental care.

Obesity not only will make it harder to find a job or to earn a decent living, the condition is linked to many costly health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Being overweight is also cited as fueling the national tooth decay epidemic impacting children as well as contributing to the high levels of gum disease in adults.

A study published by the Endocrine Society, indicates that 28 percent of children with tooth decay also tipped the scales. The research found an association between unhealthy body mass index (BMI) and dental health as kids in the study group who had unhealthy BMIs also had a higher occurrence of tooth decay.

Adults are no better off as research has suggested that 80 percent of the Americans are infected with population is gum disease and heavier folks are at greater risk for developing periodontal disease then their lighter counterparts. These findings came from scientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine who showed that that individuals with a healthy BMI, who ate a nutritious diet and exercised regularly reduce their risks of developing gum disease as that strategy will reduce levels of dental plaque and the dental problems caused as a result of its oral bacteria byproduct.

The British Dental Health Foundation analyzed saliva samples from 500 women and 60 percent of them were classified as clinically obese. The saliva samples were compared to those of healthy women, and 98 percent of the overweight women had significantly higher levels of elenomonas noxia, a strain oral bacteria linked to promoting gum disease and poor dental health.

The restorative treatments needed to repair any dental problems is much more expensive than preventing the issues in the first place, and losing weight is the best money saving move of all. While some individuals may balk at that thought, the reality is losing weight does not need to be an expensive proposition. The process can begin skipping soda and only drinking free water. Then the money spent on processed fast foods can be immediately funneled into food choices as lain out by the government's Nutrition Plate. Burning excess calories is as easy as taking walks around the blocks or dancing to music.

Individuals struggling with their weight and the dental problems associated with the condition can find sweet relief by visiting a dentist. Those who need to find a dentist can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to find a dental care provider up to the task.