If you lose a lot of weight, you’re more likely to also gain in wealth. Thus finds an Ohio State University study from a few years ago. The basic idea, as I understand it, is probably that (1) those motivated to lose that much weight will also be motivated to improve their finances and (2) once you start losing that much weight, there’s a positive feedback effect, and you’ll feel like doing more to improve your finances. I would also guess that (3) the overall health and confidence benefits might also help you get a new job or kickstart a new direction in your career, contributing to the same rise in overall wealth.
The study is interesting, although it’s not news (it’s from 2005). If you read it, try to overlook the tight controls and what might seem like strangely arbitrary units of numbers for deciding how to measure wealth. That’s just the only way the study can proceed.
There’s no way to tell from the data whether losing weight was the reason for the gain in wealth, but the linkage was definitely there, said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research. “The typical person who loses or gains a few pounds had almost no change in wealth, but those who lost or gained large amounts of weight had a more dramatic change,” Zagorsky said. “If you really want to impact your wealth, you have to move from overweight or obese into the normal range,” he said. “You can’t just drop 5 or 10 pounds and change your wealth.”
Of course, studies like this always just confirm what many of us already know. It’s really not surprising to see this correlation. But there are always people who want to see numbers and “proof.” It’s great to have the evidence, but many of these studies have their own limitations. In the end, it always comes back to what you know to be true for yourself, I think. Which is part of the justification behind my ideas about fasting for “financial fitness.”
I know from my time as a personal finance blogger that many of my blogger friends are very highly motivated individuals, and many of us are equally motivated about losing weight and getting fit as we are about our finances. Some of us even have our own fitness blogs, too! Which reminds me, many of us are going to be taking the Personal Finance Blogger Weight Loss Challenge being held at ManVsDebt from June-July 2009. Find us there and follow along! My own goal is to lose 10lbs by July 31.Related Posts
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