Try this one on for size: New research suggests that a few extra pounds or slightly larger waistline affects an executive's perceived leadership ability, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Leadership experts and executive recruiters say that staying fit is virtually required for anyone who has high management aspirations. 

According to data compiled by the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), executives with larger waistlines and higher body mass index (BMI) readings are perceived as less effective in the workplace. 

A heavy executive is judged to be less capable because of assumptions about how weight affects health and stamina, said Barry Posner, a leadership professor at Santa Clara University, in an interview with the Journal.

CCL staff detected the correlation after collecting hundreds of peer-performance reviews and health-screening results from CEOs and other senior-level managers.