It’s Not Easy Being Big

it's not easy being bigWe’ve talked about how the size and shape of your body affect pretty much everything in your life, from your risk of developing a variety of diseases and your life expectancy, to your salary and the quantity and quality of your romantic relationships. If you’re overweight or obese, several new studies add more doom and gloom to an already bleak picture: overweight men face discrimination both as job applicants and retail customers. And if they’re interested in politics, they’re less likely to appear on ballots and, when they do, they’re less likely to win.

The first two studies–the ones that measured discrimination in hiring as well as in customer service–were conducted by Enrica Ruggs, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Ruggs and her team had a number of non-overweight male actors apply for a variety of retail jobs. Then, they had those same men wear prosthetics to make them appear overweight and sent them out to apply for similar jobs at other stores.

Those same men–both in their natural state and disguised as overweight–also shopped at retail stores. The goal of these experiments, says Ruggs, was “to see if there were differences in the treatment they received when they were not heavy versus heavy.” In all cases, the “overweight” men were subjected to what Ruggs calls “interpersonal discrimination.”

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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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