Benefits Beyond Health: Weight Loss Surgery Can Lead to Career Opportunities
An obese or morbidly obese person faces challenges far beyond physical limitations and medical issues.
Workplace discrimination can lead to unemployment or underemployment and serve as a barrier to career advancement. Recent studies have revealed that successful bariatric surgery and other dramatic weight loss procedures can lead to a significant improvement in employees’ professional lives.
“Evidence suggests that obese people are perceived as having less leadership potential, and in comparison to normal weight peers, are expected to be less successful,” according to research supported by the National Institutes of Health. There might be an assumption that severely overweight employees miss significant work hours due to related health complications, exhaustion, hospitalization, and medical appointments. Others are stigmatized based on the misconception that severely obese individuals are unmotivated, unable to meet workplace demands or unfit for highly visible positions. “Weight status also impacted perceptions of candidates’ suitability for work and discrimination toward obese candidates was higher in participants from more physically demanding occupations.”
“Such weight loss can contribute to one’s self esteem and sense of personal potential while opening the door for academic or career advancement,” says Dr. Nestor F. De la Cruz Munoz, Jr., a bariatric surgeon with the University of Miami Health System.
With a renewed sense of self, successful gastric surgery patients who were unemployed often re-enter the workforce with more confidence and are met with less discrimination in the workplace.– Dr. Nestor F. De la Cruz Munoz, Jr.
While bariatric surgery or sleeve gastrectomy aren’t the right choices for every adult facing weight-related professional challenges, dramatic weight loss achieved through medical intervention can improve patients’ quality of life. Such weight loss can contribute to one’s self esteem and sense of personal potential while opening the door for academic or career advancement. With a renewed sense of self, successful gastric surgery patients who were unemployed often re-enter the workforce with more confidence and are met with less discrimination in the workplace. Researchers found that before weight loss surgery, 158 of 238 patients in the study were employed, whereas 199 of them were employed two years later.
Learn more about weight loss surgery options and get an expert’s input to determine if you’re a good candidate for such life-changing procedures. Ask your provider about the types of procedures available in addition services including support groups, nutrition counseling, fitness guidance, and medical follow-ups.
Dana Kantrowitz is a contributing writer for UMiami Health News.