gwu-logo.jpg We are usually enlightened on the health implications of obesity, but we do not heed to the impact it may have on our pockets. Recently, professionals from The George Washington University opined that there are apparent differences in the salaries of normal weight and obese women.

This study is part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) to quantify obesity-attributable wage gaps conducted between 2004 and 2008. One of the key findings included that females struck by obesity were exposed to less wages than males.

Christine Ferguson, J.D., Professor in the Department of Health Policy, commented, “This research broadens the growing body of evidence that shows that in addition to taxing health, obesity significantly affects personal finances. It also reinforces how prevalent stigma is when it comes to weight-related health issues.”

The team also found that men as well as women who were obese apparently received lower wages as compared to those who weighed normal. The difference in income presumably tapered as 2008 approached.

Overweight women from Caucasia experienced a wage penalty both in 2004 and 2008, while male counterparts encountered wage differential only in 2008. Moreover, obese men from an African-American origin were seemingly paid higher than normal weight men. As far as women from this region were concerned, the wages among the obese and normal weight group were almost similar.

According to the scientists, there are both direct and indirect causes for obesity’s effect on income. The former included poor productivity at work due to weight concerns while the latter was inclusive of factors such as medications and surgeries to combat obesity.

This report is titled ‘Gender and Race Wage Gaps Attributable to Obesity’.