It’s not news that most Americans weigh more than they should. Over one-third of American adults are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And it’s a good assumption that most overweight people wish they weren’t.
Dollars to donuts, we bet the average American would probably pay good money to lose 15 pounds immediately and effortlessly. We’re talking the “magic wand approach” to weight loss here. You pay, then poof — 15 pounds are gone. The question is: Exactly how much money would most Americans pay to lose weight?
GOBankingRates asked more than 1,000 adults from all walks of life to find out much they would pay to lose weight easily. Here’s what they said.
Most Americans Say They Will Not Pay to Lose Weight
Taking everyone in the survey together — including all genders, ages and income groups — the median amount people would pay for the magical weight loss of 15 pounds is only $5. But, as you can imagine, some people are willing to pay more. In fact, the average amount is much higher at $1.1 million.
Interestingly, the most common answer among all survey respondents is $0.
The fact that $0 is the most common answer among all Americans is baffling. After all, it’s estimated that medical weight-loss programs generated almost $8 billion dollars in revenue in 2015, according to Statista. And that number is expected to grow to almost $10 billion by 2019. Not to mention, 58 million people go to the gym or a health club every year, and the average cost of a monthly gym membership is $58, according to Statistic Brain.
Clearly, many Americans are paying something to get in shape and lose weight — which suggests some survey respondents might not have been 100 percent honest when filling out the survey. Then again, perhaps most of the survey respondents aren’t currently focused on losing weight.
Nonetheless, the median and average amounts collected in this survey prove that Americans are indeed willing to shed a few dollars here and there in order to shed a few pounds. Here’s a look at which demographics would pay less money to lose weight — and which ones would pay more.
Older Millennials Would Pay More Money to Lose Weight Fast
To find out how much people would pay to lose 15 pounds by age, this survey divided respondents into the following age groups:
- Younger millennials ages 18-24
- Older millennials ages 25-34
- Younger Gen Xers ages 35-44
- Older Gen Xers ages 45-54
- Baby boomers ages 55-64
- Seniors ages 65 and older
Millennials — in particular, older millennials — are willing to pay more money than any of the age groups to lose weight, while seniors are willing to pay the least amount of money to lose weight. The median amount among adults ages 25 to 34 is $10, and the median amount among adults 65 and older is only $1.
But the average amounts tell a much different story. People among all age groups said they’re willing to pay more than $100 just to lose 15 pounds.
Older Gen Xers took the cake, so to speak. The average amount the 152 people in this age group would pay to lose 15 pounds is a whopping $6.7 million. The average amounts among other age groups are as follows:
- Younger millennials would pay an average of about $15,000.
- Older millennials would pay an average of about $624,000.
- Young Gen Xers would pay an average of about $25,000.
- Baby boomers would pay an average of about $110.
- And seniors would pay an average of about $170.
Men Would Pay Just as Much as Women for Rapid Weight Loss
Clichés and stereotypes paint women as the gender glued to the scale. But according to this survey, it isn’t so. Both genders came in offering the same median amount for the on-the-spot weight loss of 15 pounds: $5.
However, the average woman would pay $1.3 million to lose those pesky 15 pounds magically. The average man would pay even more at $2.1 million.
Weight Loss Dreams of Modest Earners
The incomes of those surveyed ranged from $0 to over $150,000 per year. The groups included those persons with an annual salary of:
- $150,000 and more
With a median amount of $2, people in the $25,000 to $49,999 income bracket are willing to pay the least amount of money to lose 15 pounds. But this group also has the highest average amount: $2.4 million. That’s because some in that income group are willing to pay millions. For example, one man in the income group said he would pay a whopping $9.2 million to lose 15 pounds.
Sydney Champion contributed to the reporting for this article.