Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tall men AND FAT MEN earn more

The famous joviality of fatties may make them desirable employees

Australian researchers have found that tall workers earn more than their shorter colleagues, especially among men. A man who is six foot can expect to take home a "wage premium" of almost $1000 a year.

The boffins paint a bleak picture for the vertically-challenged, but there's good news for chubby workers: overweight people actually earn more than their skinny workmates.

Researcher Andrew Leigh, an economist at the Australian National University, said a factor in the tall men's pay perk was that they were more capable at some physical tasks, such as reaching the top shelf. "Beyond that is basically discrimination," Professor Leigh told AAP. "We tend to think that tall people are more powerful and smarter, even when they're not necessarily."

Prof Leigh, who stands at 180.34 centimetres, said it was unfortunate that society was biased towards taller people. There was not much short people could do about it. "At the moment they can only try and stand on a box."

Prof Leigh crunched the numbers on the height, weight and pay of thousands of people around the country, in an Australian first research effort. He found than an extra 10cm in height meant 3 per cent higher wages for men, and 2 per cent higher wages for women.

It was a different story when it came to weight. Fat men earn 5 per cent more than their trimmer colleagues. And thin women don't earn higher wages. Prof Leigh said it was possible that being overweight had become so common that it was no longer a problem for workers.


Drink labelling backfires

Youths Use Drink Labels to Choose Strongest Drink at Lowest Cost

Contrary to the industry's position that visible drink labels will promote responsible drinking, young people are, instead, using these visible standard drink labels to increase or even maximize the amount of alcohol they consume at the lowest cost possible.

According to a study in the Drug and Alcohol Review Journal published by Wiley-Blackwell, young people in Australia have very high awareness of standard drink labeling. However, this was predominately to help them choose the drinks that would get them drunk in the shortest time possible. The labels also served as guides, ‘advising' them on which drink would reduce the time needed to get drunk and the least amount they would need to drink - hence getting the best ‘value' for their money.

The study entitled "The impact of more visible standard drink labeling on youth alcohol consumption: helping young people drink (ir)responsibly?" examines the young people's perceptions of standard drink labeling, the purposes for which they use the labels and the potential impact on their alcohol consumption.

"Participants generally agreed that they notice drink labels and take in account what to purchase and consume. While earlier research with adult beer and alcohol drinkers has shown that standard drink labeling enables them to drink safely and responsibly, this motivation is not evident in the consumption choices with young drinkers and might even be counter-productive", said co-author Professor Sandra Jones from the Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong.

Heavy episodic drinking is a major health issue for Australia, as it is for most developed countries. It has been estimated that, from 1993-2002, over 2500 young people aged 15-24 have died from alcohol-attributable injury and disease, with another 100,000 hospitalized.

Professor Jones adds, "There is a need to consider the deeper implications about alcohol packaging and marketing as they have real potential to impact and reduce alcohol-related harms. There is still an important role for standard drink labeling as long as it is combined with other policies addressing the price, availability and marketing of alcohol - which are of proven effectiveness in reducing alcohol related harm."

More information: This article is published in the May Issue of Drug and Alcohol Review. (Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp 230 - 234).


New kidney cancer pill extends the lives of patients by two years

A kidney cancer pill can extend the lives of patients with advanced forms of the disease by more than two years, research shows. The drug, sunitinib - which became widely available on the [British} Health Service only this year - was found to be far more effective than traditional treatment.

Kidney cancer is diagnosed in more than 7,000 people in Britain each year and causes about 3,600 deaths annually. Until recently NHS treatment options for spreading, or metastatic, kidney cancer were mostly confined to injections of interferon-alpha. But that drug has serious side effects including fatigue, nausea and increased infections.

Research published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology compared the life expectancy of patients on sunitinib, which is marketed as Sutent, and interferon-alpha. Survival for sunitinib patients given no further treatment after they stopped taking the drug was 28.1 months compared with 14.1 months for those on interferon-alpha.

Professor John Wagstaff, of the South Wales Cancer Institute in Swansea, whose patients took part in the trial, said: 'These data herald a new era in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer.'


1 comment:

John A said...

"Prof Leigh said it was possible that being overweight had become so common that it was no longer a problem for workers."

Or "overweight" defined by BMI is largely indistinguishable to the eye. Or, the overweight are less likely to use an extra half-hour at lunch because of long waits at the gym - and also less likely to need time off with injuries. Or "overweight" short of "obese" is a faddish aberrance of a medical establishment which fondly remembers Twiggy but was seldom exposed to Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren or Brigitte Bardot or even early child-star Shirley Temple, all of whom would today be excoriated as "overweight" (in at least young Miss Temple's case, "obese").