In 2005, a Personnel Today survey of more than 2,000 HR professionals revealed some eye-opening statistics about the level of discrimination facing overweight employees in UK workplaces with almost half believing that obesity negatively affects employee output.
Three quarters of the respondents – from organisations of all sizes – admited their organisation was doing nothing actively to tackle staff obesity.
Television presenter Anne Diamond, patron of The Obesity Awareness and Solutions Trust (TOAST) and founder of weight management site fathappens.com said: “The findings from Personnel Today’s survey two years ago make grim reading. At a time when obesity is the UK’s largest health problem it is shocking to think that the workplace is the last bastion of discrimination.
“We, as a society, made a huge mistake over smoking. It caused massive health problems and its worst sufferers have to be helped with surgery. Others get medical aid to quit and regain their health. New generations are discouraged from smoking – and public attitudes have had to change. Fat is the new smoking, caused, not by personal stupidity but by society’s ignorance.
Karen Dempsey, editor of Personnel Today added “Personnel Today was the first business publication to address the importance of obesity in the workplace and is pleased to be working with Anne Diamond and TOAST to reflect the current perceptions in the workplace.”
Follow the link above to take part in the survey. The findings will be published on 13 March 2007.