Obesity could impact job quality

24 September 2014

A study has found that men who are obese as teenagers will earn less than people who are of a normal weight. The research, conducted by a team from a number of Swedish universities, found that obese adolescents grow up to earn up to 18 per cent less when they are adults.

The researchers analysed 145,193 Swedish-born brothers who joined the mandatory national army between 1984 and 1997. This information included data gathered by military enlistment personnel and certified psychologists about the soldiers’ cognitive skills (such as memory, attention, logic and reasoning) and their non-cognitive skills (such as motivation, self-confidence, sociability and persistence). 

They then used tax records to gauge the earnings of these men who were between 28 and 39 years old in 2003. These results were then compared to similar data from the British National Child Development Study and the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.

Published in Springer’s journal Demography, the study is the first to show that obese men may be putting themselves at a disadvantage when they enter the jobs market. However, the research found that it was not the same for men who only gained weight in later life, but was only associated with males who were overweight as teens.

Posted by Edward Bartel


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