‘Fat discrimination’ is widespread in the workplace, with many employers assuming overweight staff are indolent.
In terms of appearance slimmer women look attractive and healthier than their overweight counterparts.
Researchers at the University of Manchester in Britain and Australia’s Monash University asked students to go over the CVs and photos of job applicants what they thought were 12 various women.
It was actually six women with their photos taken before and after weight loss surgery.
The students were asked to rate the job applicants on their leadership potential, whether they would be likely to choose them for a job and what sort of initial remuneration they would offer.
They were also asked to rank them in terms of how successful they thought they would be.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, show that the overweight applicants were overall rated far lower than those their slimmer rivals.
The students awarded them lower wages and looked forward that they would be far less successful within the company.
Lead researcher Kerry O’Brien, from Monash University, said the prejudices were in part a reflection of how people felt about themselves.
‘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,’ said O’Brien.