It is fairly common knowledge that being overweight can take a significant and costly toll on one’s health, but there is another cost that is less often talked about. It is the substantial financial cost of carrying around excess weight.
Despite the push for equality in our supposed politically correct society, discrimination remains undeniably prevalent. It would be nice to believe that employers aren’t so shallow as to use a job candidate’s weight as a deciding factor in the hiring process, but countless studies have proven the contrary.
The most significant discrimination tends to take place at the hiring level, where a potential employer places a disproportionately high level of judgement on physical appearance. Because they haven’t yet experienced a person’s work ethic or skill, an employer is likely to fall back on weight-based stereotypes. They may presume a prospective employee to be lazy or undisciplined and therefore question their ability to accomplish the goals of the organization.
Weight-based discrimination affects employment decisions far beyond the initial hiring process. Assuming an overweight person gets hired, studies have shown that they will still have many other hurdles to overcome throughout every aspect of their employment. Excess weight has been shown to influence employers’ decisions around firing, promotions, pay, career counseling, and discipline throughout a person’s career. One study done by a Cornell University Associate Professor found that a 64 pound weight gain correlated with a wage decrease of 9% for the average white woman.
Obese employees are also known to be more costly to companies than their more physically fit colleagues. A report by The Conference Board found that obese employees cost U.S. private companies approximately $45 billion annually in medical expenses and lost work time. Reports have also shown the average medical-claims costs per 100 employees to be $51,019 for the obese vs. $7,503 for those who were not obese.
Although discriminatory behavior isn’t a fair or intelligible basis for making good business decisions, this human tendency to judge a book by its cover prevails. Making a commitment to lose weight can not only change the viewpoint of a prospective employer, but it can also be the confidence booster a person needs to apply for their dream job or to actively pursue a promotion. Additionally, once that new job is secured, the increased energy and productivity from being physically fit may be the differentiator that leads to upward career mobility!
Take that first step and call the knowledgeable and caring team of professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers for a free, no obligation consultation. The investment in your health, your career and your future could be a life changing one!