Interesting study published in today’s New York Times:
While a man racks up $2,646 annually in extra expenses if he is obese, a woman’s obesity costs her $4,879, almost twice as much.
Much of the gender gap is due to lower wages for obese women, who earn less relative to similar working women who are not obese, according to the analysis, by researchers at George Washington University.
The report is one of the first to calculate the economic toll of obesity on the individual, including both direct costs, like medical expenses, and indirect expenses, like lost wages and reduced work productivity. (The study did not account for many other personal consumer costs, like clothing, because data are not available.)
Based on a median annual wage for women of $32,450 in 2009, the report found that obese women who work full time earn $1,855 less annually than nonobese women, a 6 percent reduction. By contrast, studies have found that the wages of obese men are not significantly different from those of normal-weight men.
This doesn’t surprise me. Overweight women are often demonized as fat slobs, and have a terrible time finding clothing that is affordable, stylish and comfortable.
When I worked retail, it didn’t escape my notice that our brand had a man’s XXL — you have to be mighty fat, not simply tall, to need that much fabric — but nothing beyond an XL for women. And the XL was still mighty tight on most of the women who tried to fit into it.
Try to buy women’s clothing in a size 14 or beyond — the average American woman being a size 14 now — and is on-line or catalog sales for you, missy. No fatties allowed in the store.
A six per cent reduction in wages, especially on an income of $32, 450, is significant.
Women wanting to shed weight crave slimmer bellies and thighs — not their paychecks.