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How much is it worth to ensure you are living 12 months from now?

Recently, I read a New York Times story that made me stand up and take notice.

Even though the point of the story had more to do with addicted gamblers, one part had me champing at the bit.

The bet was, “I’ll bet you $100,000 that you can’t get down to your college weight in the next 12 months.”

Wanna bet?

“You’re on,” was the first thought that raced through my mind in response.

Weighing in at 205 pounds, if you don’t think I can lose 45 pounds by next July, then put your money where your mouth is.

Then I read another story that Mississippi had topped the “fattest state in the nation list” again, according the Centers for Disease Control.

Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight. A 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30, which is considered the threshold for obesity.

So, I went to www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ to calculate my BMI.

And there it was, another Mississippian pulling the Magnolia State down in the national rankings.

My BMI is 30.6.

The next question that raced through my mind was, “If I had the money in the bank, what would I be willing to pay to make sure I live longer than just the next 12 months?”

For me, and I suppose for 99 percent of everyone on the planet, the answer is “incalculable.”

But let somebody drop the $100,000 college-weight bet, and you will be at the YMCA at 5:30 a.m., riding the stationary bike, running on the treadmill and counting the money faster than you can count calories.

Weight loss is a problem that most of us deal with, whether it be in Mississippi or Colorado (the least obese state), but life can get in the way; kids, job — life.

It is not always an easy proposition, and managing a healthy lifestyle is difficult, at best.

Particularly in Mississippi, we are a poor state with few resources. Is there a correlation to the fact that we are the poorest state in the nation as well as the most obese?

On the other end of the spectrum, some of the least obese states in the nation (Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado and Delaware) rank in the top 10 in the nation in per-capita income.

Having said all of that, we know that living an obese lifestyle leads directly to a shorter lifespan.

So, I ask, considering most of us would jump off the sofa immediately if we were offered $100,000 to lose 30, 40 or 50 or 100 pounds in a year, how much is your life worth?

It’s a question that should make all of us want to get up and out and begin that walking regimen that we have been planning for every Monday the last several years.

Here’s to Mississippi moving up in the rankings next year.


Contact MBJ managing editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.

About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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