A new study from researchers on LinkedIn shows workers who are overweight are paid less than their slimmer counterparts.
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This finding is part of a survey involving 4,000 workers in the UK.
Survey respondents classified as obese reported an average income of £ 1,940 ($ 2,512) less per year than those who had a healthy BMI, according to the study. Twenty-five percent of individuals who are overweight – and one third who are obese – say they believe their size is holding them back from promotion. More than half (53 percent) of overweight workers say they feel left out of their work team because of their weight.
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The difference is even greater when considering age and sex. According to the survey, obese or overweight women are more likely to receive lower salaries than men of the same weight. The gender gap, according to the study, was £ 8,919 ($ 11,547).
Young workers aged 16-24 feel most aware about their weight at work.
Large bloggers like Stephanie Yeboah and Lottie L’Amour are working to change conversations and raise awareness of the prejudices faced by overweight and overweight people at work.
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"The LinkedIn community has a number of groups and discussions on this topic, and we are happy that Stephanie and Lottie opened the conversation," LinkedIn spokesman Ngaire Moyes told Insider. "We hope that more members will be encouraged to take part in discussions about how it affects them and how the size bias can be overcome."
This is not the first study to highlight salary differences based on workers' weight.
"Previous research generally found that obese workers have lower wages and that wage reduction cannot be explained by variations in worker productivity," according to the National Economic Research Bureau. "The underlying implication is that obese workers, especially women, face significant labor market discrimination."
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A survey of 500 professional recruitments last year even found that being overweight can weigh on career prospects. When professionals were shown a picture of a woman who was overweight and asked if they were considering hiring her, only 15.6 percent said they would do it. About 20 percent even characterize the woman as lazy or unprofessional.
"The standards for physical appearance are stricter for women than men," Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford Public Policy School at Duke University, told Moneyish. "Women are more likely to be evaluated on their physical appearance."
Researchers in 2010 found that women who were "very heavy" made less than $ 19,000 than their "average body weight" counterparts. Those who are "very thin" get an average of $ 22,000 more. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, also found that weight gain of 25 pounds was associated with a decrease in annual salary of $ 14,000 per year.
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More than 2.2 billion people worldwide – about one third of the planet's population – are estimated to be overweight. And 10 percent of the global population is considered obese.
Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Obese individuals have a BMI above 30.
More about LinkedIn studies at thisisINsider.com.