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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of weight discrimination on perceived attributions, person–job fit, and hiring recommendations. Three experiments were undertaken to investigate these issues with people applying for positions in fitness organizations (i.e., aerobics instructor and personal trainer). In all three studies qualified people who were overweight, relative to their qualified and sometimes unqualified thin counterparts, were perceived to have less desirable attributes (e.g., lazy), were thought to be a poorer fit for the position, and were less likely to receive a hiring recommendation. These relationships were influenced by applicant expertise and applicant sex in some cases. Implications for the fitness industry are discussed.
Sartore and Cunningham are with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.