Have you ever wondered whether your physical appearances influence the amount of money you earn? A new study reveals that this could be true.
Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School have found that height and weight actually drive future success or failure. They studied the genetic information provided by nearly 120,000 people in the UK biobank and compared it to their salaries. The team picked out 400 genetic variants that are associated with height, and 70 related to body mass index.
‘Height and BMI play an important partial role in determining several aspects of a person’s socioeconomic status.’
They found that shorter men and fatter women earned much less compared to taller men and slender women. Men who are three inches shorter and women who are one stone heavier are likely to earn an average £1,500 ($2,128) less every year.
Dr. Jessica Tyrrell, the lead author of the study, said, "The genetic analysis we used is the best possible method to test this link outside of randomly altering people's height and weight for a study, which is obviously impossible. Because we used genetics and 120,000 people, this is the strongest evidence to date that there's something about being shorter as a man and having a higher BMI as a woman that leads to being less well-off financially."
Researchers speculate that shorter men are more likely to be depressed while fatter women face discrimination when applying for jobs or in the workplace. The study was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ)
"This is the best available evidence to indicate that your height or weight can directly influence your earnings and other socioeconomic factors throughout your life. Although we knew there was a strong association, most people assumed that shorter height and higher BMI were a consequence of poorer nutrition and chances in life," said Professor Tim Frayling.
"Now we have shown that there is an effect in the other direction as well - shorter height and higher BMI can actually lead to lower income and other lifestyle measures. There is something about being a bit shorter or heavier that can actually influence your chance in life," he added.