In Debt and Overweight?

How closely is being in debt related to being overweight? Lately I have been thinking about this idea and wondering if there is in fact a relationship. Think about it for a second and it doesn’t seem too far fetched, as many of the personality traits or behaviors that lead people to debt can also lead to problems with weight.

In addition, there are other similarities that I see between debt and weight. Like many things that are not good for us, it is far easier to get into debt and/or gain weight than it is to eliminate debt and/or lose weight.

Think about the steps one takes to get control of their debt and the same steps can be applied to losing weight. Those steps include the following:

  • Planning – Whether it be taking the time to organize your finances, track your expenditures and prepare a budget or research healthy food choices, track your daily food intake and prepare a meal plan, planning is a major factor of success in both debt and weight management.
  • Discipline and Commitment – All the planning in the world is not worth the paper it is written on if you do not have the discipline and commitment to stick to the plan and resist temptation. While the temptations will vary, people in debt and people that are overweight both have to have the discipline and commitment to ignore the impulse purchases that can derail their planning.
  • Lifestyle Change – The process of eliminating debt and losing weight really require a lifestyle change to have sustained success. For those battling debt, it requires a change to live below your means and not be influenced by materialistic desires. For those battling weight, it requires a change to make healthy food choices and not be influenced by unhealthy convenient foods.

When you take a step back and evaluate being in debt or overweight and working to be debt free or at a healthy weight, there are numerous similarities. Does that mean that a higher percentage of being in debt are also overweight? While I haven’t found any definitive studies, the similarities do make you wonder if there is any validity to the idea.

What do you think? Is there a relationship between being in debt and being overweight?

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2 Responses

  1. Margarita says:

    Just wanted to say I found the article very interesting. Reminded of a couple Suze Orman episodes where she asks people reducing debt if they have lost weight at the same time. Anecdotally, shedding debt and shedding weight seem to go hand in hand.

  2. mnc says:

    Thank you for the comment. I haven’t seen an episode of Suze Orman where she discusses the weight and debt together but it doesn’t surprise me. It is interesting to see how often the two are coupled together though.

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