Savers are more likely to be slim than those who fritter their cash away, a study has found.
Britons with larger waistlines have smaller savings because of a desire for instant gratification and an aversion to planning for the future.
Researchers at Newcastle University also found that the differences were more pronounced in women than men.
The results come from a study of the health records of 15,591 Britons from the 2010-11 Understanding Society survey.
Scientists compared savings, income, marital status, and three measures of body fatness: Body Mass Index, percentage body fatness, and waist circumference.
Researchers at Newcastle University also found that the differences were more pronounced in women than men
And they found that, for women, the waistlines of savers were an average of 1.18 inches smaller.
Dr Heather Brown, of the university’s institute of health and society said: ‘All measures of body fatness for both men and women are significantly and negatively associated with being a saver.
‘The magnitude of the savings coefficients are larger for women than men.’
The report, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, added: ‘Our findings show that there is a negative relationship between the three measures of body fatness and being a saver.
The strongest relationship is found for waist circumference and being a saver for both genders.
‘Individuals with a higher time preference rate – those who are more impatient – may be less likely to invest in activities with low levels of instant gratification such as exercise and healthy eating that help to promote a healthy weight.’
The report said people should be taught the value of investing for the future – whether in saving or by healthy eating habits – rather than indulging their short-term desires
Overall they found that people in the North East and the West Midlands have significantly higher body fatness for all three measures than those who are living in London.
The authors said their findings suggest how people chose to spend their time was a contributing factor to obesity.
Those who look to the future may be more likely to stay in school, while the more impatient are less likely to see the point of foregoing today’s pleasure for tomorrow’s gain, even when it benefits their health.
The report said people should be taught the value of investing for the future – whether in saving or by healthy eating habits – rather than indulging their short-term desires.
It added: ‘Educational interventions to improve savings behaviour and subsequently obesity may be more effective for women [in particular] with lower levels of education.’
By 2050, it is estimated that 60 per cent of adult men, and 50 per cent of adult women in Britain will be obese.