-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Add higher education to
the list of things obese people might lose out on due to
discrimination. A new study finds that being overweight may lower
your odds of getting into graduate school.
"The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal," study author Jacob Burmeister, himself a Ph.D. candidate at Bowling Green State University, said in a university news release.
"But when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation," he added.
Researchers looked at 97 applicants to psychology graduate
programs at U.S. universities. The students in the study told the
researchers about their application experiences and whether or not
they received an offer of admission. The students included details
such as whether they had been interviewed in person or over the
According to Burmeister's team, students who were relatively
overweight or obese were less likely to be offered admission after
an in-person interview.
This weight bias was stronger for female applicants, according
to the study, which was published recently in the journal
"When we looked at that we could see a clear relation between their weight and offers of admission for those applicants who had had an in-person interview," Burmeister said.
The researchers weren't surprised by their findings, according
"We know that these kinds of biases are pretty common and even [perceived to be] somewhat acceptable compared to other biases, and there's not much legally forbidding it," he said.
"We might expect psychology faculty to be more aware of these types of biases. Thus, the level of bias found in this study could be a conservative estimate of the level of bias in the graduate admissions process in other fields," Burmeister added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines how
to achieve a
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