Obese Americans receive smaller paychecks compared to counterparts without severe weight problems, and the separation is especially marked among women, a breaking study concludes.

This analysis from data released by the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth discovered that in the year 2004, general overall income averages showed $8,667 lower in paychecks for obese women respondents as well as $4,772 lower in paychecks for obese men respondents when compared next to their non-obese coworkers.

Flash forward to 2008, to another study in which obese women respondents earned on average $5,826 lower in paychecks than non-obese women, according to George Washington University research.

“These studies increase the mounting body of proof that it is not just potential and current taxes on health that cause differences in the finances of Americans who are overweight,” Pete Maughan, a health and wellness contributor, remarked in weightlosswars company response. “Stigma regarding obesity is clearly being demonstrated when you see the prevalence of salary differences.”

Christine Ferguson along with colleagues at Washington University also concluded that race also causes significant differences in obesity-related income. For example, obese white women received lower wages in both the 2004 and 2008 studies when stood side by side with normally-weighing white women. At the same time, wages for white male respondents were only lower for obese white males in the 2004 study.

2004 also brought results showing that obese Hispanic females earned $6,618 lower in pay than counterpart normally-weighing Hispanic females. This gap edged narrower for women but at the same time doubled for Hispanic men. Obese Hispanic men earned $8,394 lower in paychecks than normally-weighing Hispanic men that year.

2004 & 2008 also brought conclusions for obese black men, who actually edged out their normally-weight counterparts and earned higher salaries. Among obese compared to normally-weighing black women, the differences in paychecks was insignificant in both years’ studies.

In 2010, George Washington researchers also concluded in another round of research that average costs for being obese averaged $4,879 in additional costs among woman and $2,646 among men. Those numbers include both direct (costs of medicare) and indirect costs (like lost productivity.)

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Pitfalls to Avoid When Running a Weight Loss Challenge



(First off, I’ll warn you that this is a sad story…with a happy finish! This is partially because you’ll find that my friend Heather was sad at first, but happy later! Weight Loss Wars handles all the issues I’ve described below with ease so make sure you check them out!)

Okay to my story…A friend of mine named Heather recently took part in her company’s weight loss challenge.  When she first signed up, she was thinking that the in-office ‘Biggest Loser at work’ competition was just the motivation she needed to ditch the last 15 pounds she had been wrestling with for some time.
On the first day of the weight loss challenge, all the participants ‘weighed-in’ and set weight loss goals for the coming two months.  In this particular challenge, the only requirement was that each competitor come in for weekly weigh-ins.  Heather chose her goal to lose fifteen pounds and excitedly launched into a healthy eating and exercise regimen.

Fast forward to the end of the competition. Heather was unfortunately bummed out at the end of the competition and felt as if she failed because she only lost FIVE pounds out of her FIFTEEN pound goal.  She was so caught up in the actual final number that she didn’t really realize that she had achieved excellent success in her challenge because of what she saw. She had also ended up discouraged because  several of the people she thought would continue in the competition with her had dropped out.

Unfortunately, sometimes weight loss challenges fall short when they aren’t managed well.  Three common mistakes that can be corrected without much work are:

1. Poor Ways of Managing Weigh-ins: Because weight happens to be a quite sensitive indicator of health for many people, focusing on weigh-ins in a public place such as at the office can be touchy and embarrassing.  Many times, people may drop out because it’s not convenient or because they weren’t ready that day. Instead of making a rigid rule of weighing in at the office, let competitors use several methods to weigh in.  Here are a few ways you can consider:

  • Let competitors weigh-in at home OR at the office. Most people would prefer to weigh-in at home. You can provide a scale in a discrete place in the office if you want to let them weigh-in there, too!
  • Allow flexible weigh-in periods…for example you might allow them to weigh-in for that week anytime over a weekend or from Saturday through Monday.
  • Allow contestants to miss a specified number of weigh-ins…this will keep them from dropping out just because they missed one single weigh-in.
  • Weight Loss Wars allows weight loss competitors to track their own stats confidentially and only shows their weight if they choose to proudly display it (this is often common at the end of a challenge!)
  • Weight Loss Wars also takes the stress of managing weekly weigh-ins off the shoulders of the HR person who is in charge of the weight loss competition.

2. Lack of Getting the word out: Losing weight through a biggest loser at work can be extremely fun, but if participants don’t get enough notice, they may miss out on the start date and miss out on the fun. Remember that in a weight loss competition, typically the more the merrier.

  • Get the word out early! But don’t set it too far in the future because people will think to themselves how they would prefer to lose weight now rather than hold steady at their current weight till the competition starts.
  • Weight Loss Challenges could also be called by many fun names in order to increase buzz and excitement.

    3. Lack of Emotional Support: Weight loss can be extremely effective when it is achieved in a competitive AND a supportive environment.  If an person doesn’t have the support of friends or colleagues, they may just kind of flounder along anonymously in the competition.

      • Consider bringing in a wellness counselor to help individuals work through these types of issues. Or, start your own office support group in which meetings focus on the struggles, set-backs, but also small achievements and large victories in the emotional side of the process.
      • Once again, Weight Loss Wars handles this exceptionally through the weight loss journal section of the website called Adventures in Health. Here competitors can post their triumphs and struggles in a private or public setting. Many people get inspiration as they read about other peoples’ struggles and they also become moved to action as they see how people turn challenges into big victories!

      Office Workouts on Lunch Breaks Spontaneously Occur

      4. Lack of incentive. People who compete in weight loss challenges at work want to win something. They want recognition if they’re a public type of personality and/or they want to win cash and prizes.

      • Set a prize pot and have each person competing throw money into the pot. This helps them be committed and motivated.
      • You can have the company match the amount of money the competitors put in the pot, but don’t have the company sponsor the entire prize because studies have shown that weight loss challenge participants lose more weight when they have put their own money into the pot.

      Have you done a weight loss challenges at work?  Did you partake in them?  What did you think?

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      Exercising Patience and Restraint in the Healthcare Field by Pete Maughan

      So I was sitting in a hospital on a break doing some studying for some coursework and my mind came back to a couple of experiences. I thought of a passage that I had read earlier in the morning about Peter asking Jesus how oft he had to forgive his brother…if it were really up to seven time. The Savior told him that he was to forgive not seven times but until seventy times seven.

      This got me to thinking about how in healthcare there are often long shifts, long hours, short nerves, and people are operating on fumes as they try to finish off their shifts. It is at times like these that it can become more and more challenging to be forgiving and patient with the people around us. I know that when I am becoming irritable, oftentimes I’ll think back to how long I have gone without sleep or about how I had received little or no sleep the previous night and it will dawn on me that the irritability that I’m experiencing at that time is directly related to that. And at these times is when I have found I have to dig just a little deeper to find patience and kindness for the people around me.

      It seems that this can be especially true when I am around others who are experiencing similar lack of sleep. We’re all tired, possibly irritable, and wanting to get done and go home to sleep. But it’s just times like this that I can say a little prayer, think about some positive goal I have, or even think of a time when I’ve been treated kindly by someone and let these kind of thoughts soften my bad mood. Another thing that helps me at times like this is really to focus on doing something for whomever I’m with at the time. For example, if I notice that someone else is looking exhausted, I have a choice at that moment. I can choose to think only of myself, or to focus on myself to the exclusion of others. Or I can choose to try to make the other person feel good or make them more comfortable, or just give them a smile of encouragement. These little moments when I choose to do something nice instead of becoming more irritable help me to build a reservoir of strength and character. They help me to focus more on the One Man who always chose to be kind and to love those around Him. When I’m tempted to snap at someone and instead I choose to do something nice for them, I get a little bit closer to becoming like the Savior of all mankind. On the cross he said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do…” This was certainly a time when the Savior was under such unfathomable weight and stress, yet he still chose kindness–a lesson for all of us.

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      How Music Helps me Learn

      So tonight I was studying and I listen to music while I study and for this reason, I use Pandora because it can help me choose a genre of music that best helps me study and stay on task. And although this little break in my studying wouldn’t necessarily be considered staying on task, I just had to do it. There are certain songs in life that just speak to you and that give you peace. One of those songs for me is the song Clare de lune by Debussy. It is so peaceful and has helped me at various times in my life.

      I want to take a minute to pay tribute to God for inspiring musicians who let him inspire them. I also want to thank and acknowledge the musicians who let this happen in their lives. There are people in my life who have helped me to have an appreciation for music and learning. These people who choose to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of excellence in music are like others in other fields who dedicate themselves to noble causes. Some people just have a gift of letting God speak through them in music and also in their lives.

      So I’ll take this full circle to myself. Each day, I can choose what kind of music that my life makes. My music could be dark or the kind that simply doesn’t edify. Or it could be the kind of music like Debussy’s Clair de lune, or other music like Jon Schmidt’s “All of me” or other inspiring music that simply makes you want to get up and do something good. Sometimes it’s music like Eye of the Tiger that gives me the pickup and the inspiration to do something good. The point is, that in our lives we have the opportunity to live in such a way that we share goodness with the world or we can share something that tears people down. I want to share the kind of music through my actions and service to others that makes them want to get up and do some good. Ultimately I want to point people to look inside themselves and at the world in general in a way that they will seek to understand the reason and purpose for their existence. I want to remind people that there is a purpose to our lives, and that we truly came from God as does good music. God lets us be co-creators of music and also we can be co-creators of other good things through our actions, our attitudes, and especially how we treat the people around us.

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      Attitudes of Surgeons: Are they Arrogant or Confident?

      Many things have been said about surgeons and doctors in general. For example, some people think that doctors are conceited. Some say that surgeons are a frustrating bunch because they seem to be high strung or have a bad attitude. At the same time, it could be said that surgeons are extremely nice, hard working, and that they will do what it takes to master the art and science of helping their patients. I was looking into the attitudes of surgeons trying to understand better where the stereotypes came from about surgeons and their attitudes.

      When it boils down to it, I’m finding that being a surgeon is just like having money or power. Your true character comes out and is amplified just a bit more by the power or the money. The same is true of becoming a surgeon. Surgeons are put in a position of leadership, i.e. power, and they also do receive fairly high remuneration for their work and hence the money.

      Although the common view of surgeons is that they’re arrogant, I choose to describe many of them not as arrogant, but as confident. And the confidence that many of them have is perceived as arrogance. To be a good surgeon and to be excellent at many things, it is extremely important to have confidence. Being confident as a surgeon is actually vital because a surgeon has to be a decisive leader in the operating room. They have to have confidence in their own skill set and decision making ability. Nobody who is being operated on wishes to have a wishy washy surgeon. But at the same time, there’s a fine line between confidence and being all out arrogant. Not only is arrogance a bad character trait, it is also extremely dangerous when it comes to surgery. Arrogance which has been the downfall of many nations and civilizations has also caused many a surgical career to crumble under the worst circumstances.

      For this reason, I think for anyone who wants to be a surgeon it’s important to remember that you choose your own character. If you find that you’re becoming more arrogant instead of adding confidence in your skills and choices, then you should check yourself and check the attitude trend. It’s important to remember over and over: Confidence good. Arrogance bad. And because the power that is associated with becoming a surgeon can cause overconfidence which equates to arrogance, it’s important to remember that you are the only one who chooses your own attitude. You are the only one who decides how you’ll treat other people and the attitude with which you address them. So use your power to choose wisely and choose to develop a character of confidence without arrogance!


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      What the Bible and Book of Mormon Teach About Healthcare

      So I was thinking the other day as I was considering the situation facing our country with healthcare. There is this delicate balance that must be struck between the “evils of the dole” as has been said by a modern prophet in our time, and turning away the petition of the poor which was preached against both in ancient times as well as the modern day by prophets and wise men and women everywhere.

      Let me start by saying that I do not believe in socialized medicine. I am the future Peter Maughan, MD, so it is something I consider regularly. I do believe in a society where people have access to the healthcare they need. To a large degree, it is how this medical care is administered where I take up issues. For example, I do not believe that I should be compelled to pay for the care of others less fortunate than I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t think they should be helped, but it means that I want to choose to help them. If a government takes away my agency, takes away my right to choose, then I lose the blessing that comes from giving of my own free will and pleasure to serve and benefit others. It’s a two edged sword that comes from the freedom to choose how, when, and if I help others. It brings responsibility and accountability that if I do not help, if I turn away the poor, if I deny the beggar his petition, (and specifically if I deny the beggar because I somehow feel he deserves his state of poverty because of something he/she has done or a lifestyle that he or she has adopted or chosen), then I am the one who will stand condemned.

      I am reminded of a story in Luke chapter 16 of the New Testament in the Bible. We’ll do well to remember that Luke was himself a physician and this should lead us to ponder on his thoughts on healthcare as he wrote this parable told by Jesus Christ. We read: “There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. There was also a certain beggar named Lazarus which was laid at his gate full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried, saying Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he me dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said unto him, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.”

      I see so many things in that story that can apply to our lives and which we can use in our lives to be better people, better physicians, better nurses, better caregivers, better sons, daughters, fellow citizens and benefactors. Here are a few of the lessons I find.

      First, let us not be blind to the plight of the poor and sick. Lazarus was laid at the gate of a rich man, who presumably had to pass by him in order to go anywhere. This poor beggar was not the kind of beggar who may be gaming the system and even if he were, Lazarus should have helped him. It doesn’t matter whether Lazarus caused his own pain by poor hygiene. It only matters how the unnamed rich man who could be any one of us treated his ill-fated neighbor who was laid at his gate. This rich man had a choice and he ignored the pleadings of this beggar and instead went on with his life, bought expensive clothes, ate deliciously at his own table, and did not invite this poor soul to eat and be given life essential care for his maladies. Let’s remember not to put gates around our houses and blinders over our eyes too the plight of the poor. Drive through a poor, poverty stricken neighborhood if you need to remind yourself. Do something to prick yourself in the heart and remember these people who need our help.

      Secondly, choose to do well. This is where I take up issue with a governmental solution to the problem. I do believe government exists for our benefit, and I’m not calling for a complete establishment of social medicine. But I do believe it should be cut back. I believe that if we were to get involved we could be more certain that those who need care urgently would receive it. I believe we should choose to be generous. That is why I choose to minimize my taxes that I pay in my own personal financial affairs. Not because I don’t think my fellow man should be supported by my taxes, but because I want to choose to give it to them. I want to choose the causes, and to be involved and it is not my government’s right to compel me to give care when I want to do it myself.

      Thirdly, let us remember that for all of our works and intentions we will be brought into judgment. Remember when the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, being in torments. Well, this man was reminded by Abraham the ancient and righteous prophet that a chance had been given to him to help the poor. This rich man had been granted blessings, and with them, he had chosen to be selfish. Abraham said “remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and thou art tormented.” Let me say that I believe the rich man’s torment was twofold. It was a true torment inflicted as punishment from God. But it was even more importantly self-inflicted by his own conscience as he knew himself in his heart that when he had rejected Lazarus and had denied caring for him, he had convicted himself by his desires and actions. So when we see someone in need, let’s remember to let our conscience help us in our decisions so that we don’t convict ourselves and damn our future progress because of our selfish actions today. Choose to look at the poor. Don’t turn away. Force yourself to prick your conscience now when you’re going to buy that expensive boat, or to put on that expensive shirt. Remember the poor, remember that their happiness and comfort is affected by you today. And remember that your own happiness and comfort in the hereafter is affected by your actions today as well.

      And finally, choose to do good even in absence of any future consequences. If nothing else, remember the consequences and let them get your started on the right track, but as you choose to serve and bless the lives of others, you will feel a surge of love for your fellow man. You will feel a sense of purpose for your life. You will remember that we, too are all beggars as King Benjamin declared in the Book of Mormon. That we “all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind.” And with this gratitude and love in our hearts, we will move forward, helping and making our families, our communities, and our societies better and more comfortable for all.


      Matthew 16:19-25 (In the New Testament of the Bible)

      Mosiah 4:19 (And the entire chapter. This book is found in the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.)

      My name is Peter Maughan, and I am the future Peter Maughan MD, and I wrote this article.


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      Pete Maughan Health & Wellness


      Pete Maughan was born in Helena Montana and moved to Woodinville, WA during the third grade. He later moved to Richland, WA and completed high school at Richland High, the home of the bombers. Later, he worked in Seattle and the surrounding area while saving up money to complete a 2 year proselyting and service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He learned and grew immensely during this period and learned to care more for others than just himself.

      Once Pete completed his mission, he came home to the USA and entered college at Brigham Young University (BYU) and after switching around a bit, settled on majoring in accounting. Half way through his college studies, he entered the Junto Group as a partner and became fully engaged in that full time and scraped together enough time to graduate with his accounting degree from BYU’s #1 nationally ranked accounting program. Because he entered the Junto Group during college, and because he intended for his accounting degree to be only a platform to move into the health and wellness business, he did not practice nor obtain a CPA license.

      Pete Maughan went on to help found, and to found individually several businesses including Virgin Offers, HomeInsight, Hirevue, Prolero, Prolaro, eHealthCompete, and Weightlosswars. During this period of business building, there were ups and downs, with notable successes but with large losses and a major failure. This has served to strengthen Pete’s resolve to add value in the world and to truly seek to improve peoples’ lives through health and wellness. He is currently involved with Weight Loss Wars on an ongoing basis.

      You might consider Pete Maughan weight loss as a professional who works in the health and wellness industry, but he is preparing to enter healthcare through a degree in medicine and will spend the next several years in pursing his MD. He is married to the beautiful Jill Maughan who is also involved in the health and wellness industry more specifically in healthcare as an RN.


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