Last year I saw a stat showing that quite a few more women than men think that looks matter a lot in the workplace (Mintel, Marketing Health to Women).  No surprise.  The scary thing is that women’s heightened concern is actually warranted.

USA Today just published a report about the “real cost of being obese.”  While it’s been documented that obesity leads to greater physical costs to the body, and certainly greater costs to the health care system, researchers have learned that it actually leads to greater costs to one’s own wallet (e.g., loss of productivity, increased sick days) — $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for men to be exact!  Ouch.

But what about actual wages differences between obese and non-obese workers?  Well, the study found that among men, wages didn’t differ based on weight. But large women do indeed earn less than slim ones!

Hmmmmm.

Why are women penalized here?  Why do heavy women get such a raw deal?  Is it because men are still the primary decision makers when it comes to hiring?  Is it because women’s jobs tend be more service oriented and, thus, they need to face customers more?  Or are women simply expected to be nice to look at as part of the job description?

Thoughts?  I’m scratching my bouffant here…

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