This study examined the combined effect of objective and subjective body weight, as well as gender, on illness-related absenteeism. A sample of 162 Hong Kong white-collar employees was surveyed. Using hierarchical regression analysis, we were able to confirm our hypotheses, derived from the objectified body consciousness (OBC) theory, that the positive relationship between objective body weight and illness-related absenteeism is significant among women, not men; and only among those women who consider themselves obese (as opposed to those who do not). This finding supports the concept that a woman's perception of weight affects whether obesity is more strongly related to illness-related absenteeism. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.