Think a Healthy Lifestyle is Expensive? Here are 3 Facts That Prove Otherwise
African Americans are 1.4 times as likely to be obese as non-Hispanic whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop many of us from feeling there isn’t any value in healthy food and proper fitness.
Today we are looking at a few facts that disprove the myth that living a healthy lifestyle is too expensive.
Fact #1. Healthy Food Isn’t As Expensive As You Think
The cost of eating healthy vs unhealthily is typically regarded as too expensive for low-income families to afford. However, research published in the journal BMJ Open tells a different story.
A meta-analysis of data from 2000 to 2011 that tracked dietary patterns and food prices, revealed that on a 2,000-calorie diet, it costs about $1.50 more a day to eat healthy food options in comparison to unhealthy options.
However, that’s only a part of the story. There are multiple ways to reduce food costs if you know which foods to buy.
For example, to get your protein intake, you can swap chicken and beef for beans and save significantly more. Also, soy-based foods can provide the protein needed without the cost hike. Dry beans are incredibly affordable and give you as much protein as the other two types of meat.
Yet, an area where unhealthy foods are more expensive is in the snack and sweet department. Unhealthy snacks are more expensive than healthy snacks, particularly items like ice creams, cookies etc. Frozen-fruit bars, sugar-free applesauce etc., are less expensive and keep you on track with a healthy lifestyle.
Fact #2. Lack of Physical Activity Costs You More than A Chiseled Body
Going to the gym is about more than getting a six pack, and sedentary lifestyles are not without risks. In fact, it costs the economy some $67.5 billion.
That cost is defined by lack of workplace productivity and medical costs.
Sedentary lifestyles are linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. All of which is a burden on the medical community.
And on an individual level, the cost of an unhealthy lifestyle can tally up to $8,000 a year per person! That cost is based on medical costs and extra expenditures like purchasing double the tickets on airplanes and other transportation vehicles.
For example, people living with diabetes pay some $13,700 per year on medical costs and roughly $7,000 of that is directly related to diabetes itself.
So before you write off the gym, think about the long-term consequences that can eat up your income.
Fact #3. Healthy People Earn More Money
As it turns out, you not only save money on food and medical bills when you eat healthy food and focus on fitness, but you also earn more money in the long run.
A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that people who have unhealthy lifestyles earn less than healthy people.
The accumulate more wealth and are paid about 28% more than unhealthy people. Unhealthy people also tend to work less by about 10%.
Factors such as productivity increased medical costs, and lower survival rates make unhealthy people less attractive to employers thus resulting in lower salaries overall.
And when it’s time for retirement, your savings take a huge hit because of medical costs as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Of course, healthy people tend to live longer as well. Fitness is a critical component of life expectancy, even if you walk briskly for an hour a day.
The question is, are you ready to make changes to improve your health? With financial and physical benefits on the table, the ball is in your court to start making health, fitness, and nutrition-related changes. If you do, you’ll save money and possibly your life.