The Surprising Relationship Between Obesity & How Much You Get Paid

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13_MG_0344_ErinYamagataPhotographed by Erin Yamagata.
Forget about French women not being overweight. According to a new comprehensive report in The Atlantic, the more money an American woman makes, the less likely she is to be obese.

While this finding in itself is kind of a no-brainer — as income increases, so too does access to a healthy lifestyle, from fresh produce to a gym membership — things get interesting when you compare that income-obesity relationship across gender lines. According to the Atlantic's data, collected from a sample that included white, black, and Mexican-American men, as a man's income rises, he's actually more likely to become overweight; this is true across all three ethnic groups.

The picture becomes clearer when you look at the percentage of overweight men and women in positions of power. According to a 2009 study, about half of male CEOs are either overweight or obese, while only a very small fraction of female CEOs are even a hair above skinny. On the flip side, a separate study out of George Washington University found that obese women are more likely to make less than both obese men and skinny women.

We should also keep in mind that obese women are about twice as likely to become depressed than their male counterparts. So, yes, perhaps rich women are less likely to be overweight because they can afford a gym membership and fancy kale — but clearly there are other societal factors at play that make a woman more likely to feel pressured to conform to a certain body type. In other words, it's important to be careful, and critical, when thinking about things like obesity and income — the story is never, ever as simple as you think. (The Atlantic)