How Much Your Health Impacts Your Wealth

    Everyone knows smoking, fast food, and not exercising are bad for your health, but they are also bad for your wallet. This infographic looks at the numbers behind how much it costs to be a smoker every year and the financial costs of fast food and inactivity.

    How Much Your Health Impacts Your Wealth


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    The average price of a pack of cigarettes is $6.16. If the pack has 20 in it, each cigarette costs about $0.31 on average.

    The average smoker smokes 12 cigarettes a day. At $0.31/cigarette, that costs $3.72/day or $1,358/year just for cigarettes.

    Healthcare costs for smokers can be $2,000-6,000 extra per year.

    Smoking-attributed income loss can add another $3,000-6,000 per year.

    Smokers miss out on a nonsmoking homeowner’s insurance credit of between 5-15%.

    Total direct costs of smoking per year: Between $6,500 and $13,500!

    This total explains why, in 2005, researchers found that heavy smokers had net worths $8300 less on average than non-smokers.


    57% of 18-29-year-olds report eating fast food weekly.

    Americans are spending an average of $1200/year on fast food. That’s almost as much as the average smoker spends on cigarettes!

    Fast food meals can easily be 2,000 calories or more which is the FDA recommendation for an entire day.

    Consistently eating calorie-loaded meals can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity and its comorbities can cost an extra $5,500 in annual healthcare costs.

    Total direct costs of fast food per year: up to $6,700!


    The World Health Organization identified physical inactivity as the 4th leading risk factor in mortality worldwide.

    In 2013, physical inactivity among patients with five major diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer) cost more than $67.5 billion worldwide through healthcare expenditures and productivity losses (or the equivalent of the total GDP of Costa Rica).

    In the United States, households have to shoulder $29 million of those costs annually.

    Inactive adults have medical costs $1,437 higher annually compared to active adults.

    Prolonged sitting is also bad for your health. Sitting for long periods of time is associated with bad health outcomes and increased mortality even if you try to exercise later.

    1 in 5 American adults are struggling to pay medical bills

    Medical bills are the number one reason for personal bankruptcies in the U.S.

    Maintaining good health keeps money in your pocket where it belongs!


    Join the Meatless Monday movement. Meat is one of the most expensive line-items on any food budget and meat in excess is not particularly good for your health. Cutting out meat at least one meal per week will help your health and your wallet.

    Go for a walk. Walking has a huge impact on your health. Brisk walking for 30-60 minutes a day is the sweet spot for the majority of benefits associated with exercise. There are also no gym fees or special equipment required to get out and walk.

    Don’t sit too long. If you have a sedentary job, get up and walk around for about 5 minutes or more every hour when possible.

    Prepare healthy snacks. When you’re hungry, you’re certainly not going to want to cut up a pepper or celery. But if you plan ahead, you’re more likely to stick to healthy choices.

    Examine Your Addictions. If you can cut back or cut completely anything that has become a habit, your health and wealth will thank you.

    Drink Water. While needing 8 glasses of water a day is a myth, drinking water is still important. If you drink water before a meal, you’ll eat less saving you money on food (and possible obesity costs!). If you drink water instead of soda, the results will be the same (with an added benefit of decreased dental costs!)

    If you are guilty of all three, your bad health habits could be costing you nearly $20,000 a year! Breaking bad habits or stopping addictions can be hard, but there are many simple changes you can make that can improve both your health and your finances.

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