It’s hard being a woman in a male-dominated world (just ask a woman about this). Guys are generally paid more than their female peers and they don’t even have to go through childbirth. But should women really have to pay more for being overweight?
Researchers at George Washington University have found that a man pays $2,646 annually for being obese (on such things as medical expenses, loss of wages or diminished productivity), while a woman pays almost twice that amount ($4,879).
The overall annual costs of being overweight are $524 and $432 for women and men, respectively. When they added the value of lost life to these costs the researchers found that obese men must pay $6,518 while the cost to women is $8,365.
All this is disheartening enough for women, but it’s made all the more depressing when you factor in the findings of another study, this time from the University of Florida, which finds that the skinnier a woman is, the more she gets paid.
Separate studies of 11,253 Germans and 12,686 U.S. residents found that very thin women (who weigh 25 pounds less than the group’s norm) earned an average $15,572 a year more than women of “normal” weight, according to the study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology the findings of which are reported in The Wall Street Journal.
For overweight men, however, the trend is reversed. Overweight guys tend to earn more than their skinnier colleagues, the study found. Thin guys earned $8,437 less than men of average weight, and they were consistently rewarded for getting heavier. The highest pay point, on average, was reached for guys who weighed a strapping 207 pounds, the Journal said.
Maybe employers will start examining their assumptions about employees’ weight? Fat chance.