Obesity comes with all kinds of health problems. Now, there may be some monetary problems as well. According to new research out of Germany, people who are having debt problems are more likely to be heavy.
The researchers say that the connection is due to the socioeconomic status of the person who is both obese and in debt. The people on average are young, less educated and more likely to be depressed, overweight, or obese.
The researchers compared the group to the general population. About 11 percent of the general German population is obese, while 25 percent of the indebted group are obese. The indebted people are also more likely to be regular smokers.
Psychology is a major factor as well. Indebted people may eat to cope with stress and depression, which leads to an even greater risk of being overweight or obese.
“Energy-dense food such as sweets or fatty snacks are often less expensive compared to food with lower energy density such as fruit or vegetables,” the researchers add.
Eva Muenster of the University of Mainz and her colleagues surveyed 949 people who were receiving counseling for debt and insolvency at centers in two German states. They then compared their circumstances to 8,318 people who participated in a 2003 health survey by phone.
It is estimated that three million German households (7.6 percent) are in debt.