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We make all sorts of assumptions about people based on appearance - we all do to some extent. I once wanted to give a seminar to social workers, telling them that I, a white, obese female, was a single mother with an income of about $15,000 per year. Then I was going to have them write down what else they thought they knew about me. (At the time, I was looking for professional work; I have a Master's degree from the University of Chicago; and had adopted my son as a single mother.)

I never actually got to give it, but I bet the guesses would not have resembled the truth very much.

Well, today I saw an article in Slate reporting a Yale study finding that lean men are more likely to find obese women guilty than to find obese men, lean men and lean women guilty.

In the study a group of 471 "simulated" jurors, including lean and obese men and women, were given the facts in a case of check fraud. The case was the same for everyone, but different photos of the defendant were attached. These included an obese man, obese woman, a lean man and a lean woman.

Interestingly, the lean men jurors did not have the same response to the obese man as to the obese woman, and the difference was statistically significant. None of the women had a similar .

The lean men also believed the obese woman was a repeat offender (also statistically significant), and of lower social status.

A while ago someone wrote a book called Fat Is A Feminist Issue. If you ever doubted it, here is evidence. There was no such difference for the male defendants.

Fat continues to be a political issue, which I have been saying for years, and can have serious real life consequences that have nothing to do with health.

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