A recent study suggests that weight-based discrimination can cause weight gain. People who reported facing discrimination were 2.5 times more likely to become obese in the four-year study period, and people who started out obese were three times more likely to remain so if they were discriminated against. This news makes the widespread and pervasive shaming faced by people considered overweight or obese that much more disturbing — as well as downright counterproductive. Here are six places you can allegedly find discrimination against people considered overweight.
Casinos: Twenty-two female cocktail servers sued the Borgata, an Atlantic City casino, over its policy prohibiting women from gaining 7% of their initial body weight. The women allegedly faced mandatory weigh-ins and were told to take laxatives or stop taking prescription medicine in order to stay thin. Atlantic County Superior Court judge Nelson Johnson ruled that this was perfectly legal, writing, “The Borgata Babe program has a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to ‘sex objects’ to the Borgata’s patrons… Nevertheless, for the individual labeled a babe to become a sex object requires that person’s participation.” I feel so much better now. And I’m sure the Borgata Babes do, too.
Car dealerships: Joseph Whittaker claims that he was fired from his job as a manager at America’s Car-Mart, of Jefferson City, Mo., because of his weight. Whittaker argues that though he is obese, he was, “at all times relevant, able to perform the essential functions of his position with defendant, with or without accommodation.”