Cash is king for most people: poll

Posted at 08/14/09 10:32 PM

MANILA - If given a choice between permanent weight loss or gaining money, almost all people would take the cash any time, according to a survey by Reader's Digest.

Percentage of people in the 16 countries surveyed who said they would choose $10,000 over losing 5 kilos for good.
Russia    91%
United States 81%
Spain    81%
France    80%
Germany    75%
Netherlands    75%
Canada    74%
Italy 74%
Brazil 73%
Singapore 72%
United Kingdom   71%
Australia    69%
Philippines    63%
China   62%
Malaysia   59%
India    47%

The Reader's Digest online poll, featured in its August 2009 issue, asked readers in 16 countries if they would choose $10,000 over the ability to lose 5 kilos for good.

The poll aimed to track the attitudes on health (which Reader's Digest correlated with weight loss) and finances of various citizens across economic and age groups. The survey, held from March 11 to April 7 this year, was inserted in high-traffic websites and generated a total of 150 responses from each participating country.

The poll's results showed 63% of Filipinos prefer money over weight loss, a sentiment shared by 14 other countries.

Among the participating countries, it was Russia that showed the most number of respondents preferring money over weight loss. Representatives from Reader's Digest said this was "not surprising in a country experiencing the most extreme economic decline."

Meanwhile, India's population was relatively split between the two choices, with 47% preferring money and 57% preferring weight loss.

Reader's Digest attributed this phenomenon to the country's growing middle class, the country's relatively good economy, and more sedentary lifestyles that contributed to an increase in diabetes and obesity among Indians.

The survery results also showed that in 13 out of 15 countries, younger respondents were more likely to choose money than older participants, who were more likely to choose weight loss.

The general trend of wanting money over weight loss could have been influenced by the dreary world economic climate, according to Debbie Lau, Health Editor of the Reader's Digest English Asia Edition.

"The recession may have impacted the results which skewed towards money. But remember, wealth is no replacement for health," she said in a statement.

The poll-makers also noted that they were expecting more countries to choose permanent weight loss, like the United States, which spends billions of dollars a year on diet and get-slim-fast programs.

"One thing's for sure: $10,000 in any currency is a lot of dough – enough to put up with being doughy," a Reader's Digest statement said.

The Reader's Digest Association is an international media and marketing company that sells magazines, books, music, video, and other educational products in 78 countries. Its most popular publication to date is Reader's Digest, with a circulation of over 38 million globally.