Women who are obese are already at risk for a slew of health issues. Now, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity, obese women are also faced with both employment and salary discrimination, when compared with their slimmer colleagues.
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Scientists at the University of Manchester and Monash University, Melbourne studied a group of subjects acting as hiring employers. These individuals scrutinized various resumes and head shots of job seekers. The potential ‘employers’ were then asked to rate the candidates based on their employability, beginning salary, and likelihood of advancement.
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According to the researchers, pictures of females before and after weight loss surgery were shown. The lead investigator says that his study found bias in many areas when it comes to the obese employee in the workplace. “We found that strong obesity discrimination was displayed across all job selection criteria, such as starting salary, leadership potential, and likelihood of selecting an obese candidate for the job,” Dr. Kerry O’Brien said in a university press release.
Sadly, African Americans are not only having a tough time finding jobs, but the problem of obesity is particularly acute among Black women.
Four in five African-American women are overweight, according to the U.S. Office of Minority Health, and carrying those excess pounds can increase the risk for several potentially life-threatening cardiovascular conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. About 50 percent of African-American women in the United States are obese, compared to 30 percent of White women.
Dr. O’Brien warns, “Our findings show that there is a clear need to address obesity discrimination, particularly against females who tend to bear the brunt of anti-fat prejudice, prejudice reduction interventions and policies need to be developed.”