This just in: Actual data not as necessary as you might think
I have a coworker who loves to come to me with fat-related articles. This afternoon I received a gleeful IM: "I bet this one's gonna enrage you!" Then he sent me a link to this article about a study funded by Allergan, peddler of lap bands and other weight loss surgery products (as well as various pharmaceuticals). According to the study, not only do fat people take too much extra time off work, but apparently the time we spend at the office is somehow less productive, costing the poor companies who employ us
millions billions of dollars a year.
My coworker was right. I read this article and now all I want to do is hiss and spit and jump up and down and maybe jam a pen in my eye. Because what the hell? There are no details whatsoever in the article that explain what is meant by loss of productivity or how it is measured, there are only dollar signs and percentages. For instance, if you're a woman with a BMI of 30-34.9, you will experience 6.3 days of 'presenteeism' or lost productivity throughout the year. At BMIs of 40 and above the number of days of lost productivity jumps to 22.7. For men the numbers are 2.3 days and 21.9 days, respectively.
But what does that actually mean? And where are those figures coming from? Where is the data? Your guess is as good as mine. What incenses me so much about this is that people are going to read this article and it will just reinforce every stereotype they've ever thought about fat people and laziness and it will give them justification to not hire or promote a fat person, to not pay them the same as everyone else. And you and I both know that the concept that fat people are not dedicated hard workers is complete and utter BS!
Feel free to vent with me in the comments.