Do overweight candidates get fewer votes?

The first scientific study on weight discrimination in election outcomes found that political candidates who are overweight tend to receive fewer votes than thinner candidates. The more overweight a candidate is, the more voters tend to support the thinner opponent. The study was recently published in the journal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

A husband-wife team of Michigan researchers analyzed data from the 2010 and 2012 U.S. Senate elections. Based on a certain scientific method, primary election candidates were categorized as normal weight, overweight or obese.

Obese candidates had the toughest luck getting on the ballot, although men who were overweight were able to get on the ballot more often than women who were overweight. In overall voting, overweight candidates—no matter the gender—received fewer votes compared to thinner candidates.

This study reinforces the belief that weight discrimination remains a problems on many levels of American society.

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