Blood sugar slumps affect how fit men treat the more rotund
Fit, healthy men lose their patience with overweight males when they are hungry, a new study has found.
Scientists at Germany’s University of Lubeck discovered that lean men prefer males who have the same physical build as themselves, and when their appetite peaks this preference increases.
However, larger men were more likely to treat all their peers equality, no matter their blood sugar levels. Researchers believe these findings could explain why larger men are less likely to be hired for a job, may potentially be paid less than their trimmer peers and are more often unemployed.
The study saw 20 fit men and 20 overweight men play a set of economic games, which have previously been used as an insight into factors which determine economic decisions. There were three activities; the ultimatum game, the trust game and the risk game, with participants made aware of the appearance of their rivals. Blood sugar levels were measured as either normal or abnormally low.
The ultimatum game analysed fairness, with a player asked to divide a set amount of money with someone else, who has the choice of rejecting or accepting the number. For the trust activity the men’s faith and cooperation in one another could increase the financial income, or lose an investment. Lastly, the risk game saw the participants choose between chancy and safe outcomes.
Those lean men in the ultimatum game were more likely to make fewer fair proposals than the larger males, while in the trust game the fit men who had low blood sugar gave more trust to those whose build was the same as their own.
Dr Achim Peters, lead author of the report published in the International Journal of Obesity, pointed out that this small study could explain workplace environments. He also stated that the outcome of economic decisions is determined by the body weight of both those involved, and more egotistic decisions are made by lean men when their blood sugar levels are low.
“Blood glucose concentrations should be taken into consideration when analysing economic decision-making,” Dr Peters explained.
“When relating these results to the working environment, the weight bias in economic decision-making may be relevant for employment disparities.”
“One might therefore speculate that a lean personnel manager could prefer a lean job applicant and could offer him a higher salary, but that a corpulent personnel manager would not make a difference regarding body shape, in either hiring or salary decisions.”