Obese women in Canada earn less money than non-obese women, a new study by Western University reveals.
Researchers compared the outcomes of obese women and non-obese women in the workforce, including labour market participation, hourly wages and personal annual income.
What they found is that obese women between the ages of 18 to 53 earn almost five per cent less in hourly wages and annual income than non-obese women.
Lead researcher Sisira Sarma believes discrimination is a factor.
“Women who are obese may be discriminated against due to a perception by some employers that they may be less productive,” Sarma, from Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, said.
Specifically, from 2010 to 2011, obese women earned an average of $18.90 an hour or $37,972 annually.
In comparison, non obese-women earned on average $22 an hour or $42,493 annually. There was no significant difference in labour market participation.
Researchers defined obese women as those with a body mass index of 30 or higher.
The study also reveals how obese and non-obese women compare in terms of education levels and health indicators.
Roughly 11 per cent of obese women reported having less than a high school education, compared to six per cent of non-obese women.
Obese women are also less likely to classify their health as excellent, the study suggests.