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  • People who are overweight face a lot of prejudice every day.
  • According to a new study from LinkedIn, they also earn less than their slimmer colleagues.
  • "If you're putting in the hard work, you should be rewarded regardless of how you look," said plus size blogger Stephanie Yeboah.

Studies have proven the prejudice against overweight people. In society, being overweight means someone is judged as lazy, weak-willed, unintelligent, and as having poor willpower.

They're also less likely to be taken seriously when seeing a doctor, and are even forced into having eating disorders due to the idea losing weight is the pinnacle of a health transformation.

According to a new study from LinkedIn, obese workers also often earn less than their slimmer colleagues.

A survey of 4,000 adults in full or part-time employment showed that on average, UK workers who are classed as obese according to their BMI earn £1,940 (about R36,000) less per year compared to those with a "healthy" BMI.

One in four workers classed as overweight felt they had missed out on a job opportunity or promotion because of their size, and this rose to nearly a third among those who were obese. Over half (53%) of overweight people said they felt left out of their team at work because of their weight.

Almost half (43%) of obese respondents also said they felt lighter colleagues progressed quicker than them in the company, and this was even true of 28% of people who were a healthy weight.

Women who are overweight or obese are also more likely to receive a lower salary than men of the same weight, the study found, with a gender gap of £8,919 (about R166,000). Women are more likely to be affected by their body image at work than men - 39% of women compared to 28% of men - despite the fact men reported getting more negative comments relating to their weight than women.

A spokesperson for LinkedIn, Ngaire Moyes, said it's disheartening to see that bias based on size is still an issue in the workplace in 2018. But the company added that plus size bloggers like Stephanie Yeboah and Lottie L'Amour are trying to change the conversation and raise people's awareness of their prejudices.

"Dealing with people who make snap judgements about me because of my appearance is something I've faced my whole life," Yeboah said in a press release. "I want everybody to feel confident in their bodies and believe that nothing can hold them back if they want that job, promotion or pay rise. If you're putting in the hard work, you should be rewarded regardless of how you look."

Other findings of the study were that 16-24 year-olds feel the most self-conscious about their weight at work, while Over 55s are the least likely to be affected. Overall, 28% of workers have had a colleague or manager make an offensive comment about their weight.

"The LinkedIn community has a number of groups and discussions on this topic, and we are pleased Stephanie and Lottie are opening up the conversation," said Moyes. "We hope more members will be encouraged to take part in the discussion about how it affects them and how size bias can be tackled."

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