Overweight women could face problems in the workplace because employers may feel their clients will find fat women in the office unattractive, an obesity group says.

Those with weight problems tend to be less productive than lean women, which will also create issues in employment, according to the National Obesity Forum.

A study by Connecticut University recently showed overweight women are more likely to lose their jobs, be a victim of crime and have money troubles.

Tam Fry, spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, said obese women who recognise their problem feel stigmatised and embarrassed.

"A fat woman who wants to get back to normal size will find it very difficult because the more you put on, the longer it takes to take off," he added.

Recent research by weightlossresources.co.uk shows two-thirds of people concerned with their weight believe their employers have a responsibility to help them stay in shape.