How the shape of college students influences their careers
COLLEGE ISLAND, Fla.
— A new study finds that college students with a body shape that is similar to their college weight gain are more likely to leave the profession than students with an athletic body shape.
The research was published Monday in the journal Obesity.
“College students with normal body shape are more than twice as likely to be fired compared to college students who have an athletic shape,” said lead author Dr. David H. Bostwick, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School.
“Students with normal or even overweight body shapes are more often dismissed for their body shape,” he added.
“It seems that it is not just that college kids have normal or overweight body shape, but that they also have a body that is in the middle,” said Bostick, who is also the chief executive officer of the Harvard Obesity Prevention Program.
“And so when college students lose weight and then get promoted, they may be less likely to make the same type of career choices that they had before losing weight.”
College students are less likely than other college students to find employment, but a college-related career is not the only risk that college student with a healthy body shape may face.
“One of the big factors that are associated with college career outcomes is the presence of obesity,” said Hildebrand, who studies body shape at the School of Public Health at Harvard University.
The study was led by Bosticks team.
“This study was based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is a large national survey that measures the prevalence of major health behaviors and behaviors that are linked to obesity,” he said.
“The BRFSS is a nationally representative sample of college-aged adults, but it does not provide a complete picture of college graduates.
We found that there was a very significant association between BMI and future job status for college students, particularly those who were overweight or obese,” said Dr. Bontwick.
Bostick said the data suggest that college-based employment might be linked to weight gain.
“What this study demonstrates is that even though college students are the most likely to lose weight, they are also the most vulnerable to losing weight.
They may not necessarily be as motivated as other college graduates to lose the weight,” he explained.”
And if you’re overweight, you may not be able to get an adequate job at the company you’re working for,” Bostwicks added.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 1,000 participants, including more than 5,000 college students in their 20s and 30s.
“We found that students with body shapes that were similar to college weight were less likely for college graduates than those with body shape characteristics that were different from college weight,” said J.D. Houghton, an associate professor of social work at Boston College who was not involved in the research.
“For example, college students were less than half as likely as students with larger body shapes to be hired at a company where their weight was not an issue.
That means that when you look at the weight of the student population, the likelihood of the employer hiring you is very, very low,” Houghtons research said.
In the study, the researchers also looked at the health of more than 4,500 of the students in the study.
Those students were classified as having “metabolically healthy” or “metabolic unhealthy.”
“There was a difference between the BMI categories for both the normal and overweight college students,” said University of Florida Professor of Sociology Dr. Karen B. Johnson, a co-author of the study and a professor in the department of sociology.
“That is, those who had the normal BMI were less obese than the overweight college student population.”
“Our findings suggest that the health problems that are experienced by these students, when they become obese, are a risk factor for future job loss,” Johnson said.
She added, “The way that we have been thinking about obesity and weight gain is that it may be a risk for weight gain in college students.
However, the weight gain was more likely in the normal college students and less in the overweight students.
So, if you have a weight problem and you don’t have the metabolic health problem, then it might be a sign that you are not as physically active and you might not be as successful in your career.””
It’s also important to note that the study did not identify a risk that the obese students were more likely than the normal students to get fired,” Johnson added.