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Is Money's New Financial Series a Scare Tactic To Lose Weight?


This week, Money debuted "Get Healthier, Get Wealthier," a multi-part series to make small changes in your life for a better financial future. In the introduction, the writers explain how your health and finance are related:

Whether you realize it or not, your health and healthy finances are linked in countless ways. A bad habit like smoking burns a hole in your budget every time you light up. Being overweight tends to inflate the cost of your health care—a growing burden as employers and insurers ask you to bear a bigger portion of your medical bills. And a poor night’s sleep can damage your career if it leaves you sluggish and unproductive at work.

Don't bother looking for a exposé about sleep deprivation or what you could have spent your money on instead of cigarettes in the series. Of the nine features, five relate to weight loss:

  • Why Getting Off Your Bottom Is Good For Your Bottom Line

  • The Financial Rewards of Working Out

  • Here's How Much You Can Save By Slimming Down

  • 4 Health Moves to Make Now That Will Pay Off Later

  • The Best Free Fitness and Health Apps

I'm not a financial advisor, but the series feels a lopsided. While there is no question that there is an obesity epidemic in the States—for 30 years now—no mention of mental or emotional well-being as a factor on one's overall health is in the series.

The editors at Money consider Weight Watchers a sound investment, and it could be if the business wasn't based on repeat customers. There is no one-and-done at WW. Many return to WW to lose the weight they gained (and more) after going off the program. Add in WW's prepackaged food sold at clinics and supermarkets, and the program isn't as cost-effective as it appears—not by a long shot.

If this is a week-long series, it's doubtful that Money will balance out the weight-loss stories with those about unloading toxic relationships or free therapy sessions within the next 48 hours. We're inundated with weight-loss tips all day long. Any one who is plus size already knows they're losing out to their thinner, less qualified colleagues. How is advising weight-loss programs and pills helpful? We don't need to hear how our weight is financially hurting us. What Money is suggesting is throwing more money at a problem that isn't going away anytime soon.

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