Offensive and derogatory posters, advertising jobs at a clothing shop in Durban, discriminate against overweight people. Picture: Zanele Zulu

London - Overweight women are far less likely to be selected for jobs than slimmer rivals, claim scientists.

And, once employed, they tend to be lower paid and given more menial tasks. The researchers say “fat discrimination” is widespread in the workplace, with many bosses assuming overweight staff are lazy or gluttons.

Scientists at the University of Manchester and Australia’s Monash University asked 102 students to look at the CVs and photos of what they thought were 12 different women.

In fact, it was six women with the photos taken before and after weight-loss surgery.

The students were asked to rate the candidates on their leadership potential, whether they would be likely to select them for a job and what sort of starting salary they would offer. They were also asked to rank them in terms of how successful they thought they would be.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, show that the overweight candidates were overall rated far lower than those who were slimmer.

The students awarded them lower salaries and predicted that they would be far less successful within the company.

Lead researcher Kerry O’Brien, from Monash University, said: “Our findings show that there is a clear need to address obesity discrimination, particularly against females who tend to bear the brunt of anti-fat prejudice.”

Dr O’Brien said the prejudices were in part a reflection of how people felt about themselves. - Daily Mail