• Sweden edition
Swedish firms prefer not to hire fat people: study

Swedish firms prefer not to hire fat people: study

Published: 06 Nov 2012 08:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Nov 2012 08:18 GMT+01:00

The study, carried out by the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), found that obese jobseekers have an 83 percent lower chance of landing a job compared with people of normal weight, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported.

Small companies are more likely to reject job candidates who are overweight, older, or have a history of health problems, while larger companies can more easily afford to "take a chance" during the recruitment process, said Uppsala University economics professor Per Johansson, one of the authors of the study.

"We interpret it as if employers believe all people who are overweight are less productive," Johansson told the TT news agency.

Johansson emphasized that choosing not to hire someone because of their weight is not only illegal, but that companies risk missing out on talented workers who happen to be somewhat heavy.

One manager at a small IT firm told TT that he refuses to hire people who are extremely overweight.

"My experience has been that they often can't handle working at the pace I demand of myself and my coworkers," he said.

He added he has nothing personal against people who are overweight and that he is simply concerned about recruiting the wrong person.

"It can be seen as unfair, but hiring the wrong person can be fatal for a small business," the IT manager said.

"My feeling is that really fat people, I mean guys who weigh 120 kilos, often perform worse and often have worse health than skinny people."

Kicki Randmael, who lost 55 kilos after having an operation, said that her obesity cost her the chance to become a deacon within the Church of Sweden, as a bishop explained she wouldn't be accepted to the training course because there was a risk she would suffer knee problems on account of her weight.

"I was totally shocked. I really couldn't believe my ears," Randmael told TT.

She said that, following her operation, she thinks people listen to her in a totally different way.

"It may be that I'm more radiant and occupy a different space now, but when I was overweight I was treated like I was less intelligent," she said.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:57 November 6, 2012 by skogsbo
Fit for purpose, literally.

A small business owner risks a lot with each new employee, why take risk? A bit of fat is fine, but obese, apart from the health risks, it not always very presentable.
10:32 November 6, 2012 by SecondGen
Gee, they'd be better off to do a medical screening if they were concerned about it.

My skinny buddy has had 2 heart attacks as he smoked (actually, he said the ambulance guy asked him if he was on drugs, he said no and the guy said, we'll then you are having a heart attack). Me? I'm on the plump side but I did my first marathon last month (I was so happy to complete it and I admit I walked funny for 2 days due to blisters I got toward the end, but it was great!)
12:28 November 6, 2012 by skogsbo
Well you can have a job for exercising, but your smoking friend can't!

My sambo works for a Swedish multi national she can take 2 hrs out in work time to exercise, healthy body - healthy mind.
12:31 November 7, 2012 by DAVID T
Seems SAS airlines don't care - Can't get past those heffers walking down the aisle
Today's headlines
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: Swedish taboos
The butter knife is for butter. Photo: Mats Sandelin/TT

Top ten: Swedish taboos

From standing in line to taking your hols in the off-season, Sweden is a society with customs and faux pas, the Danes might say taboos. Here is a list of ten to watch out for. READ  

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine
A tank in Horlivka. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/TT

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine

A mediator who handles prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels said on Wednesday that he feared for the life of a kidnapped Swede. READ  

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'
Photo: TT

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'

Swedish power group Vattenfall said on Wednesday that second quarter losses had been cut despite trying market conditions, forecasting that energy prices were unlikely to recover in the "foreseeable future". READ  

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Swedish actors Peter Johansson, Anna Sahlin and Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics

Who is the fairest of them all? Swedes are, according to the rest of the Nordic nations in a recent survey. READ  

My Swedish Career
American teams up with Swede to beat cancer
Matthew Volsky holding the Gynocoular colposcope which is used for screening cervical cancer. Photo: Gynocoular

American teams up with Swede to beat cancer

When Matthew Volsky first came to Sweden he didn't think he would stick around. Six years and a pioneering invention later he tells The Local about the medical device which is helping save lives around the world. READ  

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »


22 July


"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
People-watching July 11-13
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: