Fat People Get Paid Less - New Spin
It's pretty common knowledge here at BFB that fat people get paid less than others in the workplace - particularly white women. There's a new article that's been floating about that basically reinforces the idea but, interestingly, twists it around to cover fat people who dieted. It then claims that fat people who diet get richer. Pretty bold, eh? So then what's this?
There's no way to tell from the data whether losing weight was the reason for the gain in wealth, but the linkage was definitely there, said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research. [emphasis mine]
Really, WTF? If there's "no way to tell," how can the author say the linkage is there? I'm really curious about that.
Assuming the linkage is linky enough, the study took peoples' BMIs and net worths over a 15-year period and assessed where they stood. Black women and white men gained the most by losing weight (interesting on the black women), white women gained less, and black men were practically unaffected. Zagorsky, who insisted that "quite a bit" of weight had to be lost to have an effect, then came up with "ideal" BMIs:
White women had peak net worth at the low end of the normal range (BMI 20), white males and Black women reached peak net worth at the upper end of the normal range (BMI 24) and Black males peaked in the obese range (BMI 32).
Not too surprising, except perhaps the part about black men. White women are held to a higher standard of weight versus other groups, it seems, and this would seem to support that. The tail end of the article suggests that fat people are discriminated against (surprise!) in the workplace, and that's a possible explanation for the discrepancies. Sure it is.
The bottom line you should take from this article: fat people are still paid less. Dieting won't fix that. Changing the law will.