Weight discrimination against obese politicians

Two new papers of little intrinsic interest but much more interesting in juxtaposition.

On the one hand we hear from the National Health Interview Survey that obesity is increasing in the US

Prevalence of Obesity by Occupation Among US Workers

Prevalence of obesity steadily increased from 2004 through 2008 across gender and race/ethnicity but leveled off from 2008 through 2011. Non-Hispanic black female workers in health care support (49.2%) and transportation/material moving (46.6%) had the highest prevalence of obesity. Prevalence of obesity in relatively low-obesity (white-collar) occupations significantly increased between 2004-2007 and 2008-2011, whereas it did not change significantly in high-obesity (blue-collar) occupations.

On the other hand we also hear from a new study that

Weight bias plagues U.S. elections

Overweight political candidates tend to receive fewer votes than their thinner opponents, finds a new study by a weight bias expert. Both obese men and women were less likely to get on the ballot in the first place. When it came to merely being overweight, women were underrepresented on the ballot, though men were not. This is consistent with previous research showing men who are slightly heavy tend not to experience discrimination like that of slightly overweight women.

Perhaps it should be a Fundamental Human Right not to be discriminated against merely for being obese? Maybe we need some affirmative action to ensure that we have the proper representation of fat people in employment, in politics and on Company Boards?

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One Response to “Weight discrimination against obese politicians”

  1. elizabethweaver Says:

    I highly recommend FAT CHANCE by Robert Lustig, M.D. He’s a pediatric endocrinologist at U.C.S.F. who also has many lectures on YouTube re: U.S. food policy and how food is leading to global obesity and metabolic disease. As a scientist you may especially appreciate that he backs his statements up with science rather than opinion.

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