Fat Chicks Make Less Money: Study

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Obese Americans make less than their thinner co-workers, but the gap is much greater for fat women than fat men, according to a recently released study.

In 2004, obese women made $8,666 less than their more svelte colleagues, according to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Obese dudes made $4,772 less than males of normal weight, U.S. News & World Report notes.

The study's authors say that the earnings gap might stem from weight-related social stigmas.

The numbers don't improve over time: In 2008, bigger women earned $5,826 less than normal-weight females -- about 15 percent, the magazine reports.

If you weren't already pissed off about how shallow Americans generally are about weight -- and how research now suggests that it might affect people's livelihoods -- then you will certainly be angry to hear that the numbers might also be affected by race.

In 2004, obese Hispanic females got $6,618 less than normal-weight Hispanic women.

That stat improved slightly in 2008, the magazine notes, but worsened for obese Hispanic men -- they got $8,394 less than their thinner counterparts.

Obese black men, however, earned more than normal-weight black men. Black women took in the same amount of money, regardless of weight.


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11 comments
Ben
Ben

Not to jump all over this, but couldn't you also just interpret this study backwards: Making less money makes you more likely to be obese? The poorer you are, the less likely you are to live near a grocery store...I mean it writes itself.

Does the study wildly speculate on why African-Americans don't follow this trend (whatever that trend may end up being?)

J.M.
J.M.

It's not from stigmas.

People who overeat have psychological reasons why, which are related to depression and self esteem. Esteem factors into how assertive one is when determining their worth, as in, how much salary to ask for. People with low self esteem will get paid less because they *ask for less money.* It's not rocket science.

Dude
Dude

Un-PC but true..  fat people consume more calories than they burn through movement.  This indicates a tendency to consume more than produce.  In capitalist society production is rewarded (usually) by compensation, so when one consumes more than she produces, her compensation will be less.  If a person doesn't respect his own body, it's not a stretch that he doesn't respect the constent self-improvement that's required to increase his value and thus advancement in the workplace. 

valles
valles

Americans have a right to be fat whilst driving round in their armoured cars. It's the constitution that says so-or it meant to.

Victor Long
Victor Long

That really does not come as any real surprise now does it?www.Total-Privacy dot US

Asdasd
Asdasd

Correlation does not imply causation. Just because obese people are paid less does not mean it is because they are obese. It could be due to a host of other factors: for example, perhaps obese people tend to work more often in lower paying jobs (like fast food) than non-obese people. More studies are needed before you can jump to a hasty conclusion like this article did.

What
What

 You aren't making any sense.

If fat people consume more than they produce, OK, the difference comes out of their bank account and not out of their paycheck before they get it.  The same as a thin woman who buys expensive curtains or pets, both are spending their own money on unnecessary things.

"If a [fat] person doesn't respect his own body" is the definition of begging the question...

For your last sentence -- it's so easy to turn that around.  "If a thin person chooses to spend her time in the gym rather than working late on a project, it's not a stretch that her bosses can see she's shallow, motivated by physical appearance rather than professional success, and not dedicated to the work that will actually advance her career."  I'm not arguing that, but if there weren't so much stigma against fat people, you would be.

Victoriabekiempis
Victoriabekiempis

Hi there!

Thanks for the comment. I'm well aware that correlation and causation are not the same thing and don't imply one another -- hence the conditional language. However, we do know a few things: LOTS of research suggests widespread, institutional weight-based bias. 

Now, researchers think that wages might be affected by said weight-based biases, and that this in turn might also be affected by race. This is cause for concern. No hasty conclusion here, but I did add something to the paragraph to clarify this, because I could see how one section might have caused confusion as to what I was saying. 

Dude
Dude

I mean that people get fat (using the article title, not trying to be mean) because they continuously eat more calories than they burn.  This is a sustained behavior.  Such habits often spill over into other parts of one's life.  Not always.  Doesn't mean you're a bad person.  But overall, in a macro sense, people overweight and obese, over half our population, tend to consume more than they produce.  Why?  My guess is because it's easier.  If you're willing to accept all the physical and social problems that accompany fatness, you're proving a propensity to accept adverse conditions because doing so is easier than not doing so.  Thus, it isn't too much of a stretch to suggest you're performance in the workplace might follow the same trend.  I agree that thousands of people might be hefty because they work so hard that they don't have time to workout.  It's just that millions don't.  I'm also not going to grant that in our lives we need to choose betwee a gym and obsesity.  There's  an entire spectrum there.

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