Can you afford to be fat? The obvious meaning that comes to mind when I ask this question is, can you afford to spend bundles of money on over-priced, over-sized meals out, expensive boxes of chocolate, daily runs to Baskin Robbins?
And while it’s true that these habits have a financial cost, the relationship between weight and spending habits might extend even further.
Studies have shown that people who are in credit card debt and are hiding that fact from their family and friends tend to also be overweight. The possible connection? It’s not easy to cover up extra pounds. If you’ve been eating way too much, others can see that. Even if you wear loose clothes or Spanx, if you’re significantly overweight, there is really no hiding that. And that’s what most people are who are in a substantial amount of debt.
This could be because to compensate for the pain and embarrassment over their very obvious weight problem, over-eaters splurge on a different type of indulgence they can keep all to themselves—spending money.
But this cycle becomes viscous, as the guilt over the credit card debt leads to more over-eating. You comfort-eat over breakups, getting fired, or even a rainy day. Imagine the amount of comfort food you’d need to soothe the anxiety of being $20,000 in debt! It’s apparent that the calories consumed correlate with the debt accrue.
On one episode of Dr. Oz, the average BMI of the audience was 27, which is overweight. A second piece of data was collected about the audience members that day: their FICO score. This score shows how financially reliable you are. It tells a landlord whether or not to rent to you, an employer whether or not to hire you, or a bank whether or not to give you a loan. The average FICO score came out to be between 500 and 600. This is low.
Clearly there is a relationship between over-eating and over-spending, so how do you stop it? Facing the reality of both of these problems is a good start. Face the scale. Face your credit card bills. Most importantly, tell everyone around you that you want to lose weight and pay off your debt. That way, they won’t ask you to go out for expensive dinners anymore.
Here are some awesome healthy recipes that will help: