Obesity Linked to Lower Paychecks12/19/11
MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Obese Americans have smaller
paychecks than those who aren't overweight, and this difference is
especially strong among women, a new study finds.
The analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of
Youth revealed that in 2004, overall average annual incomes were
$8,666 less for obese women and $4,772 less for obese men compared
with normal weight workers.
In 2008, obese women made an average of $5,826 (15 percent) less
than normal-weight females, the George Washington University
"This research broadens the growing body of evidence that shows that in addition to taxing health, obesity significantly affects personal finances," Christine Ferguson, a professor in the department of health policy, said in a university news release. "It also reinforces how prevalent stigma is when it comes to weight-related health issues."
She and her colleagues also found that race has a significant
influence on weight-related differences in income. White women who
were obese had lower wages in both 2004 and 2008 than normal-weight
white women, while wages were lower for obese white men only in
In 2004, Hispanic women who were obese earned $6,618 less than
normal-weight Hispanic women. In 2008, the gap among women narrowed
slightly but doubled for men. Hispanic men who were obese earned
$8,394 less than normal weight Hispanic men.
In both 2004 and 2008, black men who were obese earned more than
normal-weight black men, while wages were similar for obese and
normal-weight black women.
Last year, George Washington University researchers found that
the average annual costs of being obese were $4,879 for a woman and
$2,646 for a man. Those figures include indirect costs such as lost
productivity and direct expenses such as medical care.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains the
causes and consequences of overweight and
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