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Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.

There's a not-so-subtle discrimination against overweight people in most organisations, and it's based on the flip side of the argument that finally convinced me to lose weight. It's easy to imagine the following thoughts passing through the mind of a person considering promoting an overweight employee to a position of greater responsibility. "Andy's bright, trustworthy, loyal, and one of the hardest-working people I've ever met—in short in matters intellectual, social, and professional he is the very model of a modern middle manager. But I have to consider the whole picture. This is a management job, not a technical position. I'm betting a large budget, an important project, and more than a little of my own reputation on whoever I pick. Do I really want to bet all that on somebody who can't even manage his weight... ?" The prejudice is normally far more subtle than this line of reasoning, but don't doubt for a minute it's there. Another barrier blocking the advancement of overweight people is the perception they aren't "dynamic" and don't have the energy and stamina to see through difficult tasks.

In my experience this discrimination against the overweight is totally unjustified, but that doesn't keep it from happening every day. As we've seen, most overweight people don't suffer from flaws in character or weakness of will; they just have a broken feedback system. But if others assume there's something wrong with them, the consequences will be no less severe for being unjustified and unfair.

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