In the US, if no one were fat, a saving of USD $487 billion per year (3.5% of GDP) would be made to the economy. This seems like a huge sum, but is a culmination of all the savings that would be made from:
- Gas ($5b): an overweight driver uses 68 more liters of petrol a year. This is also in support of a longtime argument regarding excess luggage on flights. Why should a 60kg lady have to pay for 5kg excess luggage when the person next to her on the plane is a 120kg man with only 6kg less luggage (but 54kg more weight)? It makes no sense. The potential negative consequences of people fasting before they go on flights could be one negative, but I still think it would be a policy worth exploring. I suspect the airlines already have, and have decided it is not a good idea as many of their frequent fliers are overweight. But surely this is something a new/small carrier could introduce? Put a 100kg limit on every passenger I say.
- Food (equivalent to 81b loss in sales for McDonalds): eating excess calories.
- Clothing ($10b): more material is needed for large sizes.
- Health related costs ($140b): Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke, Insurance etc.
- Productivity at the workplace ($257b): days/time lost to sickness, feeling unwell.
- Farmers Sales (20m).
- Fat Loss industry ($55b): diet books, supplements, fat loss clinics etc.
And remember this is just the US, and so you can only imagine the cost worldwide…
Admittedly this does not seem to account for the negative consequences of having out of work Tailors, McDonald’s workers, Farmers, Jenny Craig support people etc, but is interesting none the less.