Researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne found the genes that result in greater height correlate strongly with the genes that produce a reduced body mass index (BMI).
The new study reveals genetic link between being tall and slim. Researcher Matthew Robinson said that their findings gave a genetic basis to the stereotype of Scandinavians as being tall and lean. Robinson said that on average, only 24 percent of the genetic variation in height and eight percent of the genetic variation in BMI could be explained by regional differences.
In the study, researchers looked at height and BMI differences in 9,416 people from 14 European countries and used data from genome-wide association studies. Robinson said genetic variation between countries could explain national differences in height, but environmental factors were the main determinant of a population's BMI.
Robinson said that this suggested that differences in diet, for example, were more important than genetics in creating differences in BMI among nations.
The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics.