SoSS academic lead researcher on international obesity study

Image courtesy of the Yale University Rudd Institute

Dr Kerry O’Brien, from the School of Social Sciences, is currently heading an international study on discrimination against obese women in the workplace.

The study has found that obese women are more likely to be discriminated against when applying for jobs and receive lower starting salaries than their non-overweight colleagues.

The findings were recently published in the International Journal of Obesity, and examined whether a recently developed measure of anti-fat prejudice, the universal measure of bias (UMB), predicted actual obesity job discrimination.

Dr O’Brien said the nature of the study was initially concealed from the participants to avoid biased results.

“Participants viewed a series of resumes that had a small photo of the supposed job applicant attached, and were asked to make ratings of the applicants’ suitability, starting salary and employability,” Dr O’Brien said.

For more information about the study see the Monash news service.