Mortality rate for most health reasons are negatively related to income. Therefore, families with lower income are most likely to have lower life expectancy as compared to those with higher incomes. The occurrences of obesity and overweight have increased dramatically over the previous decades. Further, the most bulbous health concern in many countries today is overweight. The consequences of overweight range from stroke, heart failure, heart attack, respiratory problems, hypertension, to colon, breast and prostate cancers. A common and reasonable assumption then is that poor people suffer severely from cases of overweight. Emergence of energy dense food and fast foods are among the numerous causes of overweight that affects mostly poor people. Poor people generally have limited resources and thus shift their choices towards diets with maximum calories. This simply implies that poor individuals cannot meet the expense of healthy diets. Nonetheless, society perceives men and women differently in many issues. Body standards, as suggested by cultivation theory are not an exception. In the context of employment, there are varying relationships between weight and income depending on one`s gender, age or ethnicity. For instance, in Africa, excessive weight in men is a sign of wealth. Nevertheless, the disparity between one`s weight and income are weakening over time. This paper aims at assessing the relationship between one`s weight and opportunity advancement or rather the level of income.
Statement of the Problem
Body weight and income relationship differ from one cultural setting to the other. For instance, in the United States, body weight and income are deemed to be negatively related. However, in developing countries, there is a positive relationship between income and weight. Therefore, in developing countries, both females and males with larger body sizes are rated as ideal in the community at large. Nonetheless, in developed countries, there are more stereotypes of heavy and thin people. Therefore, one`s weight significantly influences one`s social well-being and in some cases affect one`s marital status. An ideal body size is influenced by gender and culture. There is a high standard of attractiveness posed in magazines and on televisions is slimmer for females than for males. In addition, the fashion industry is not an exception. More attention is accorded to slimmer individuals. Thin women and men are perceived as better model. Further, what is more surprising is how most employers perceive the notion on their employees` weight. Most obese people are regarded as non-productive and less desirable as either bosses, co-workers or subordinates. However, in many instance, discrimination by employees based on weight happens subconsciously. As such, in the case of females, thinner individuals are more likely to be employed as compared to their overweight counterparts. With all these observations, there lies a serious need to research further on the relationship between one`s weight and opportunity advancement. Bearing in mind of the existence of adverse effects of being overweight and the fact that most researches conducted have focussed on countries within the United States where individuals are more weight conscious. As such, the issue on weight and one`s advancement needs to be addressed in regard to various cultural set-ups which have different social and employment expectations.
The relationship between weight and income has enjoyed a wealth of literature in the past. This is because the correlation between weight and one`s advancement cannot be overlooked. Worldwide, different people have different perceptions as far as weight and income are concerned. However, most researchers are biased as their main focus lies on the relationship between obesity and income. The studies below highlight some of the studies that attempt to explain the relationship between income and weight.
In general, studies on the risk of overweight are greater and consistent for children and women of low income than for men. This is true in the case of mostly White women and children. Further, there is much evidence that the gap between the poor and the rich has been closing with time as people with higher incomes become overweight. Researchers assert that most adults who have a higher body mass index fall in the lowest education and income group. As such, income are inversely related to body mass index implying that individuals with low incomes have higher body mass indices as well as higher chances of being obese.
The most significant outcome of employment that is adversely affected by weight is income. Discrimination against overweight employees occurs at different stages of employment including hiring, training and during promotions. Consequently, this is reflected in the disparity observed in the income levels between the slim and obese employees. Income serves as a mark of success, and an indication of one`s growth in his or her career. This is because the society views income as a culmination of human capital and social investment. In addition, one`s income significantly influences his or her lifestyle and determines one`s social status in the society at large. As much as Economists argue that wage penalties are applied to obesity, there is no study that examines the earnings-weight relationship up to date. In America, the media is a source of people`s perception on weight. Female cartoons, actresses, and Miss America Pageant victors are increasingly becoming thin over years. An average woman is perceived to be overweight, whereas, a very thin woman is perceived to be average. The consistent exposure of thinner women has made most women believe that being thin is the best thing. Many women are thus dissatisfied with their bodies. From this observation, it can be arguably concluded that one`s weight influences one`s advancement in the media sector. This is because pageant winners are mostly thin and this is interpreted as the order of the day due to consistency in the sizes of pageant winners. In addition, cultivation theory also states that extremely thin women are deemed more attractive, more positive individuals, and better companion choices than their average counterparts. In fact, females who have an average weight are viewed as rebels who do not value hard work, self-discipline and thrift. This implies that thinner women are more valued than average women. Consequentially, employers celebrate thinner women with higher incomes since they stand out and are rare to encounter. However, a different perception exists on men`s weight. A chunky and muscular male is considered ideal by the media. Consequentially, thin men are not satisfied with themselves. They feel lonelier and less handsome. On the other hand, in developing countries, overweight men are deemed to be powerful and wealthy. As such, employers regard them as responsible employees and award them better positions than thin men. This subsequently explains the difference in income levels.
Numerous peer reviews have also been conducted on the relationship between one`s weight and advancement opportunities. The peer reviews conducted have been on a variety of topics including weight effects on marital status, vegetable and fruit consumption by poor American families, and effects of one`s weight on opportunity advancement in an organization. A peer review conducted in 2004 asserts that overweight is a result of poor diet among other factors. In addition, it states that weight loss is a positive goal and a determined individual can realize weight loss through healthy living. Further, it explains that discrimination occurs in various fields depending on one`s weight. However, it clearly states that once an individual is absorbed into an organization, he or she will not be favoured in any way. This is in reference to promotions and general opportunity advancement such as training and development. Promotion and advancement depends on one`s hard work and positive contribution towards the realization of an organization`s goals. As such, weight does not matter at all.
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