Study: Lose big weight, gain big cash

July 7, 2005

People who lose a lot of weight tend to fatten their pocketbooks, Ohio State University researchers say.

"The typical person who loses or gains a few pounds had almost no change in wealth, but those who lost or gained large amounts of weight had a more dramatic change," said lead researcher Jay Zagorsky.

White men who dropped their body mass index, or BMI, score by 10 points saw an average wealth increase of $12,720.

Among women with similar drops, whites gained $11,880 and blacks rose $4,480.

Ironically, black males' wealth peaked at the top of the BMI scale.

Women also lost more wealth than men when they gained a significant amount of weight.

Zagorsky, who drew his findings from years of interviews of 7,300 participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, said there is no data to prove weight loss caused greater wealth, but said the link is distinct.

He reported his findings in the "Articles in Press" section of Economics and Human Biology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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