Monday, October 3, 2011

Christie and the Fat Factor

We still don’t know whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will enter the presidential race but we are already seeking speculation about how his weight might affect his candidacy.  Does being obese help or hurt a candidate?  The surprising answer is that if you are a male, being obese might actually give you an advantage over a skinny opponent.  That’s the finding from one of the few studies conducted on the subject of fat vs. lean candidates by political scientists, a paper presented at the 2011 American Political Science Association meeting by political scientists Beth Miller, Jennifer Lundgren, Diane Filion, and Lauren Thompson from the University of Missouri—Kansas City.

Miller,, found that obese male candidates were actually evaluated MORE POSITIVELY than non-obese male candidates.  In other words, being obese gave them an advantage.  That was not true for female candidates.  Participants in the study responded more MORE NEGATIVELY on subjective ratings to obese female candidates than they did to non-obese female candidates, obese male candidates, and non-obese male candidates.

Seems there is a definite double standard.  The Fat Factor works to the advantage of males in politics but works against the prospects of females.

Read more about this study here:

and here:

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