Overweight women make $13,847 less than average, while underweight women make $15,572 more. That means that a fat woman makes $29,419 less per year than a skinny one.
A study led by Timothy Judge at the University of Florida and published by the American Psychological Association studied the salaries of nearly 25,000 U.S. men and women. He found that women who were 25 lbs heavier than average make much less a year, while women who were lighter made more.
The pay discrepancy is telling because it reveals employers' inaccurate assumptions about overweight workers, especially women. According to the study:
Even though these stereotypes are inaccurate it appears that in the United States, obese employees are viewed by their employers as lazy and lacking in self-discipline...overweight women are consistently judged more harshly in the workplace than overweight men,
The rewards for underweight women are staggering, according to the study:
This means that, all else equal, a woman who is average weight earns $389,300 less across a 25-year career than a woman who is 25 lbs below average weight.
For men, being heavier can actually pay. Scrawny guys made about $8,000 less than average, while peak earners weighed 207 pounds.
Here's a graph showing salary expectations and weight for men and women:
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