A Depressing New Study Finds Being Short or Overweight Can Hurt Your Career Size does matter, as short men and overweight women face the largest backlash.
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While previous observational studies have found that taller men and thinner women are more successful and better off socio-economically, they simply proved these two factors are correlated.
But a new study published by the journal BMJ finds that height and weight has a causal relationship to pay and other status markers. In other words, overweight and short people face lower income and other social barriers because of their body mass and stature.
Related: Size does matter, as short men and overweight women face the largest backlash.
To determine this, researchers used genetic data from more than 119,000 British people between ages 37 to 73, focusing on genetic variants that predict height and BMI. Then, they examined participants status based on five factors, including degree level, employment and annual household income.
The researchers found that for each two-and-a-half-inch increase in height suggested by a male participants' genetics, he earned an average of $1,611 more a year, The New York Times reports. For women, an extra 4.6 BMI points meant, on average, they earned $4,200 less per year. (Unfairly if not surprisingly, high BMIs did not negatively impact the socio-economic status of men.)
"Using genetic information in this way avoids some of the problems that afflict observational studies, making the results less prone to bias and unmeasured confounding factors, and therefore more likely to be reliable," the authors wrote in the study