Being Overweight Can Keep You from Being Hired

Although no hiring manager is going to admit it to you, being overweight can keep you from being hired to work at their company and obesity discrimination exists.  For those who will admit it (but only to their closest friends, never to anyone in the company) one of their reasons for obesity discrimination is the thought that if the candidate is unable to manage their weight, how will he or she manage the position they are being hired to work in? Obesity discrimination and being overweight can keep you from being hired even if you are fine with your weight.

Costs of obesity

Sadly there’s not much preventing obesity discrimination or companies from acting solely in favor of their bottom lines and taking the obesity statistics into consideration. Employers, of course, are concerned about obesity in the workplace because of the associated price tag.  According to a recent report by The Conference Board, a nonprofit business membership and research organization, obese employees cost U.S. private companies around $45 billion each year in medical expenditures and work loss.

The damning stats don’t stop there. According to a Duke University Medical Center study of the health records of more than 11,000 Duke University employees, obese workers filed twice the number of workers’ compensation claims, had seven times the medical costs and lost 13 times the days of work from work injury or illness compared with other employees. Additionally, the average medical-claims costs per 100 employees amounted to $51,019 for the obese, compared with $7,503 for the non-obese. These results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Harder to get jobs

While the state of the current economy might have something to do with how employers feel about hiring any worker, it is still upsetting to think your weight may be a hiring factor. However, it’s a reality that anyone who is overweight will have to face. It’s easy to see, regardless of equal opportunity employment laws, why those who struggle with their weight would have a difficult time finding a job even after being deemed “a perfect candidate” for a particular position. While many overweight individuals may just continue to look for a job with a hiring manager who will look past their weight issues, it’s a better solution to eliminate the weight problem altogether for many other reasons including your health.

My thanks to my professional colleague Rob Degraffenreid for sharing this valuable information.

Yours in health,

Dr. Francis Gonzalez, ND

(212) 888-9116