July 6

Dieting for dollars

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A new study appearing online in the “Articles in Press” section of Economics and Human Biology reports that overweight people who lose large amounts of weight become wealthier.
It’s obviously impossible to tell if the loss of weight is the cause of the increase in wealth but there is a correlation for sure.
The article points out that although there is no proven causality between the weight loss and the increase in net worth, there is no data showing that increases in wealth lead to weight loss. Subjects who had received large sums of money suddenly (through inheritance for example) did not decrease their weight after receipt of such money.
An interesting point made by the author, Jay Zagorsky, from Ohio State University, was that a little weight loss didn’t necessarily correlate with a little increase in wealth—it required fairly significant weight loss to show a change, but those changes in wealth were substantial.
For example, white women who dropped their BMI (a parameter that I loathe) by 10 points increased their wealth by $11,880 while white men who did the same increased their wealth by $12,720. Black women dropping their BMIs by 10 points gained $4,480, and black men, for whatever reason, showed no wealth gain with weight loss.
Someone with a sharp pencil, a sharper mind, and some spare time could calculate the dollar gained from each carbohydrate cut from the diet.


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