Obesity Update: Thin Women Earn More

Thin women earn more, but thin men earn less up to the point of obesity:

The Wall Street Journal reports that in looking at the differences of earnings between men and women of different sizes, the study’s author discovered significant gaps. Women who weighed 25 pounds less than average-sized women in the sampling earned an average of $15,572 more. On the other hand, a woman who weighed 25 pounds more than normal-sized women made $13,847 less than their average counterparts.

Thinner men were just as unfortunate as heavier women, earning $8,437 less than average-sized men.

Full Wall Street Journal report on the effects of being very thin on men vs. women.

Comments (6)

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  1. Brian Williams. says:

    Looking at it another way: perhaps people who earn more can afford an expensive gym membership, thus they don’t weigh as much as people who are less wealthy. Of course, if this is true, it wouldn’t be fair and the government would need to provide free gym memberships to everyone, regardless of wealth.

  2. Virginia says:

    So it pays to have an eating disorder?

    This finding makes sense to me. Skinny guys seem too shrimpy to make big decisions. Skinny girls look like they spend all of their time making big decisions (probably in an effort to avoiding thinking about their hunger).

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    I suspect part of the difference is perception. Large males were revered throughout history as forceful leaders / warriors. As time evolved, this natural selection process ingrained these traits as desirable during the age where physical strength and fertility ensured survival. Although physical size in a male manager not longer matters, the bias for large male leaders still ingrained in the gene pool.
    I wonder if the researchers controlled for type of industry. Marketing, communications, sales, fashion and some other industries tend to employ large numbers of women. Some industries may value (and reward) feminine beauty more than some other industries. A recent blog post explained that in some industries, beautiful women have a harder time advancing because of their beauty.

  4. Alexis says:

    I think that’s an interesting, and likely true, observation, Devon; though I would argue that evolutionary pressure may not explain the thin woman phenomenon. If it were to favor healthy-sized women, I think that would make sense. I agree that it would be interesting to do a study controlling for certain industries, though I’d like to see it done for both sexes.

  5. Ron Greiner says:

    Because I ran 6 Richard Simmons Anatomy Asylums (1983) with 30,000 female members I have great insight on FAT WOMEN. Because Richard hated his own salespeople we closed his 80 health clubs down, the idiot.

    Richard Simmons was before I enrolled the 1st tax-free MSA 14 years ago this month. I know Dr. Goodman and Devon say that Golden Rule enrolled the 1st MSA but that’s a LIE.

    Read the TRUTH about the 1st tax-free MSAs at 7-Eleven 14 years ago this month. Golden Rule didn’t come out with their MSA plan till December 1996.

    Get the true story on the 1st MSA here:


    Now don’t you feel goofy Dr. Goodman?

  6. John Goodman says:

    Ron, get a life.