Healthy cities have healthy people that create a healthy economy. Obesity costs money directly and indirectly. Influencing people to want to take better care of themselves will lower costs, create a more vibrant population, and increase tourism.
The Cost of Obesity
The direct costs of obesity are medical treatments and examinations that people receive directly due to their condition. This will cost the city when municipal workers are being treated for being overweight. It will also cost the city when people need emergency or ambulatory care due to their obesity and are unable to pay for it.
Insurance for the municipality will cost proportionally more the larger the number of obese people. Local businesses will also have to pay more in insurance costs, which is less money they have to put into their establishments and give their employees.
Wages in areas with large obese populations tend to be lower than in areas where more people are fit. This has to do with insurance costs as mentioned above, as well as lower overall productivity due to missed work and premature death.
Obese employees miss more work on average than employees that are not obese. They also use more short and long term disability. Overweight workers are also said to have higher rates of presenteeism, resulting in lower productivity.
As you can see, the costs of obesity are high to the entire population of any area. Municipalities with large populations of obese citizens should work to help the community become healthier. Doing so will increase productivity and juice up the economy in the medium to long-term.
Current costs are a concern, but another thing to keep in mind is that healthcare costs will continue to rise as they have been. Spending increased 3.9% over 2017 and 4.1% over the year of 2018. These are massive year over year cost increases. Can your city afford not to get healthy?
A healthy population will be less of a drain directly and indirectly on the wealth of a city. A healthy community can help a city to grow and attract more business than a population of people that are not taken care of. Think about the future and encourage health!