A research team from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, led by PhD Sisira Sarma, examined results from the National Population Health Survey between 2000 to 2011. They found obese women earn about 4% less hourly wage rate and 4.5% annual income than non-obese women.
However, Sarma says that that result in the study was emphasized more than other results in the media coverage of the study, which examined reasons why there is a difference in the amount of money either group earns. He says that a lower income could lead to obesity.
“They could not afford good education and they cannot send their kids to school,” he explains, adding that lower income individuals may not be able to afford healthy food. Samra says another reason could be that women who are obese are struggling to get promotions.
Although he explains that it’s not the only factor, Sarma says that discrimination from employers could also be another reason.
The study used data collected from National Population Health Survey results from 2000 to 2011. A body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher is considered obese.