There have been numerous reports in the media that those who are obese are being discriminated in the workplace, not only in the way that people treat them but also that they are paid less too.
In a new study that was published in the journal Demography, it was discovered that obese teenage men earn as much as 18% less than their normal weight colleagues.
What did the study involve?
A team of researchers looked at data from almost 150,000 Swedish brothers who were enlisted in the Swedish National Services for mandatory military service between 1984 and 1997.
The researchers found that those who were obese as teenagers went on to earn less, even compared to those who were of a normal weight as a teenager but gained weight as they aged.
This team also looked to see if there was a similar trend among young men in both the US and UK, which there was.
Why does obesity affect your wage?
While previous studies have shown that people tend to think that those who are obese are lazy and lack discipline among various other stereotypical issues.
Research also seems to back up these stereotypes with some studies showing that obese and hypertensive men performed the worst in cognitive performance tests.
A study at the NYU Langone Medical Center also found that children who suffered from obesity also performed poorly at both memory and spelling tasks.
Dr. Antonio Convit, professor of psychiatry and medicine and director of the BODyLab had this to say:
“Their brains are not firing on all pistons.”
“The more overweight that youth are, the more they experience the medical consequences of obesity, and the greater the difficulties they have in all these areas of cognitive functioning.”
The theory is that being obese as a teenager may lead to self-esteem problems as well as discrimination among peers and teachers, leading to lower cognitive (memory, attention and logic) and non-cognitive skills such as motivation, self-confidence and persistence.