One of my favorite quotes comes from the theologian and philosopher GK Chesterton – “There’s only one subject.” Maybe because that’s how my mind works, is the reason I love it, seeing how all knowledge is connected. I was thinking about this today. I think we underestimate how terrible financial debt is for our physical health. Consider:
In 1960, the Obesity rate in the US was 13% and Americans slept 8-9 hours.
In 2019, the Obesity rate is 35% and the average sleep is 6.5 hours.
During the time obesity went up and sleep went down, debt went way up and savings went way down. Now of course in the world of statistics, correlation does not equal causation and people who haven’t studied statistics get that concept confused all the time, but the numbers add up to something fishy going on. Debt destabilizes at any level, personal or governmental. Americans have way too much debt and don’t save enough. The savings rate has been declining dramatically for the past 60 years and consumer debt has been climbing all that time. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
So we are gaining weight, not saving money, and sleeping less. My thought is that the financial factor is underweighted in all of this. More discipline with savings and debt leads to less desperation, less stress, better sleep, healthier meals, and less obesity. All of these things are linked together. If we focus first on debt, like Dave Ramsey teaches, we can then take a deep breath and move on to all of these other things and life gets stable. I know people have bad situations come up, but debt can destabilize your physical body.
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