Overweight employees are disadvantaged in the workplace

If you had a few too many mince pies over Christmas then it may be time to get yourself down to the gym – evidence has emerged that being fat harms your career.

A survey of Britain’s bosses by consultancy the Aziz Corporation found that overweight people are disadvantaged in the workplace.

Eight in 10 senior managers believe there is a prejudice in business against people who are seriously overweight.

Seven in 10 believe that overweight people are seen as lacking self-control, energy and drive.

And the same percentage says fit people are better able to cope with the stresses and demands of a senior business role.

Aziz Corporation chairman professor Khalid Aziz said: “This research reveals that appearance matters in business – and that weight is one of the key factors in appearance.

“The competitive nature of business and securing a senior role means that appearance can be make or break.”

In October 2005, an exclusive Personnel Today survey of more than 2,000 UK-based HR professionals revealed that almost half thought that obesity negatively affected employee output, with more than a quarter believing that obesity was becoming a problem in their industry.

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