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Thin or Fiscally Fit: You Choose


Would you rather be thin or debt-free?

I know, you want to be both. For those of us who are overweight and underwater, it's a nice dilemma to mull over (beats the quandary of saving for retirement or paying for your kid's college education). But it wasn't a tough call for 72 percent of 2,021 Americans polled. They'd rather keep their current debt than the alternative: gain 25 pounds and owe nothing.

Related: Be Debt-Free in a Year or Less

Maybe it's not so surprising that in these body-obsessed times, the survey conducted for financial services firm Credit Karma, found that only 28 percent of adults were willing to add on the pounds to shed their debt. The survey didn't specify the amount of debt that would be eliminated, nor did it say whether sipping creamy, thick delicious milkshakes everyday for a month was part of the plan to gain weight.

To delve deeper, the poll asked respondents whether they agreed with this statement: "How much I weigh is more important than how much debt I have." Fully 43 percent chose weight. But here's where it gets really interesting: men were more likely than women (49 percent versus 38 percent) to say that. So much for women being more vain than men.

Then the poll took the rich-versus-thin dilemma one step further. Asked to choose between bankruptcy and obesity, a majority (62 percent) said they'd rather be obese. But 38 percent said they'd rather be bankrupt if it meant they could be at their "ideal weight."

I don't know what to say about that, except maybe they should consider retaining a financial adviser.

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Among other findings:

  • 64 percent actually think about their physical appearance more than they think about getting out of debt.
  • 36 percent of younger adults (ages 18 to 34) worry more about their looks than finances.
  • 28 percent of those 55-plus are more concerned with their body weight than with their financial state.

Photo: Humbert15/flickr


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