Does a lower BMI – or body mass index – mean more money in your purse?
Is there really a connection between the size of your dress and the size of your bank account?
We like to think that appearance and weight have nothing to do with financial success.
And indeed, sometimes there seems to be no correlation at all. We’ve all seen over-the-top obesity partnered with personal wealth.
Evidently, statistically, that is the exception – according to Openshaw’s research – rather than the rule.
This just came across my desk straight from Jennifer Openshaw at MarketWatch.
Openshaw uses four specific areas to illustrate the relationship between being overweight and your finances:
- Life Insurance, and, lumped together:
- Earnings, Net Worth, and Marriage
Category #4 sounds juicy for starters; let’s see what Openshaw has to say:
Earnings, Net Worth and Marriage. You’ve heard the studies that show better looking people earn more. Being thin helps too.
A study by the Ohio State University Center for Human Resources Research found that the obese accumulate only about half the net worth of non-obese Americans, and gender and ethnicity make a big difference.
Overall, a one-point increase in body mass index dropped net worth by $1,300. But wealth increases are nonlinear; that is, a 10-point change from a highly overweight reading means much more.
Now for earnings: The Ohio State study found that a typical woman earned $314 less annually for every one-point increase in BMI while a male counterpart earned $161 less.
Another study by a New York University sociologist found that, for women, a 1% increase in BMI led to a 0.6% decrease in income, a 0.4% decrease in job “prestige” and a 0.35% decrease in the likelihood of marriage. To keep this simple, assuming this is true, just a one point increase in a man’s BMI could lead to a drop in savings over 30 years by as much as $10,700 (assuming a 5% annual return if these earnings were not otherwise lost), while for a woman, a savings impact of over $20,000.
Does this mean “thin = rich”?
Hardly. Yet some interesting statistics at which it might be worth to take a look.
For an interactive chart so you can check your own BMI, click HERE.
And don’t miss Openshaw’s article at MarketWatch in its entirety here:
If You Don’t Lose Weight, Your Finances Will.
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I must say that having spent nearly my entire career life as an obese person I *know* that it affected how much I earned. My last job I was pursued and they kept offering me more money every time they called … I was at a normal healthy BMI at that point and looked vastly different. This is literally the only time this has ever happened to me and my experience was a valuable asset but I truly believe it’s because I was visually more appealing.
I think being thin is going to be far more profitable for me in the future. As horrible as it is that this happens .. I plan to reap the benefits. 😉
@Tracey: Tracey, I really appreciate you coming by to share from your experience. It may not seem fair, but not facing the facts can hurt us more in the long run.
I commend you for the work you’ve done to make changes in your health and weight. I would like for your permission to use your comments in future articles to assist other women – is that OK with you?
Thanks so much,