'˜Concerning' study finds obese men and women less likely to be employed
Obese women were most likely to be discriminated against and deemed as unsuitable candidates for a job, the study found.
In total 181 recruiters from sedentary, standing, manual and heavy manual occupations were given identical, hypothetical CVs with photographs depicting fat and thin people. Each of the applicants met all the criteria in the job description and they were each given a suitability score out of 42. Men of a normal weight received an average overall score of 39.14 while the obese male applicants scored 25.38.
The average suitability score for women of a normal weight was 34.65 out of a possible 42, while women who were obese scored 23.31.
The study also found that those CVs without an accompanying photograph scored higher than the applicants whose photos depicted an obese man or woman.
The “concerning” findings also revealed that the type of job role affected the outcome, with males of a normal weight applying for a ‘sedentary’ job - an admin assistant - favoured almost ten points higher than the obese female.
Obese applicants were also found to be the least employable for the manual and heavy manual jobs, which were advertised as a retail salesperson and a labourer.
Lead researcher, Dr Stuart Flint of Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, said: “Overall, the findings reveal that obese people are discriminated against when they are applying for employment and this discrimination gets worse as the physical requirements of the job increases.
“The results are particularly concerning for obese women, because the results show that obese females are discriminated against more than obese men.”