Aside from the social struggles that can accompany the vertically challenged and overweight, a new study has determined that short men and women with a higher B.M.I. have lower salaries than their “average” counterparts.
Using a genetic technique called Mendelian randomization, the results of the study show that genetically determined height and weight can directly affect worldly success. Just under 120,000 participants were used in the study.
For each two and a half inches of genetically determined extra height, a man was 12 percent more likely to work in a high-status job and earned an average $1,611 more a year. In women, a 4.6-point increase in B.M.I. resulted in $4,200 less in annual income.
The fact that the disadvantages affect both men and women concludes that there is a genetic bias at the heart of the issue, not one based purely on gender.
“Your environment, your lifestyle, can’t change your genes,” said the study’s senior author, Timothy M. Frayling. “The data shows that there is a causal effect from being genetically a bit shorter or fatter that leads you to being worse off in life. Previously we didn’t know that.”
While the findings support previous analysis that reached similar conclusions, there are also many factors that the data fails to consider.
Other interpretations could include the reality that obesity and a lack of physical fitness have a detrimental effect on one’s ability to complete professional tasks, or that it’s been proven that attractive people earn more money on average.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that 2016 should be the year we abolish short man shaming.