Fat girls suffer in job market

A STUDY of more than 12,500 people born in Britain has found that girls who were fat at 16 had poorer paying jobs when they were 23 than their peers, even if they had lost weight.

The same was not true for fat boys, but those who were short at 16 earned less than their taller peers by 23.

The authors of the study, James Sargent and David Blanchflower, who used figures from the National Child Development Study of 12,536 people born in March 1958, said: 'This study provides evidence that height and weight influence earnings.'

However, they said it was not clear whether the effect obesity in girls and shortness in boys had on earning power was caused by external factors, such as discrimination by employers, or 'internal or psychological factors'.

The Dartmouth College study, published in the current issue of the scientific journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that girls in the top 1 per cent of the body mass index at 16 earned 11.4 per cent less than 'their non-obese peers' at 23, and those in the top 10 per cent earned 7.4 per cent less.

Bryan Appleyard, page 15

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