Being a shorter man or an overweight woman is detrimental to socioeconomic success, University-led research has confirmed.
New evidence has both confirmed the well-established link between height and weight and how financially secure a person is, and explained how this is influenced by gender.
Scientists at the University have analysed genetics to prove that shorter height in men and higher body mass index in women leads to lower chances in life, specifically income.
Using data from 120,000 participants in the UK Biobank, the scientists studied 400 genetic variants, with the participants’ height and weight, to discover whether being shorter or having a higher BMI could influence success. This was measured by the information the participants provided, including earnings, education, postcode and job type.
Findings revealed that if a man was three inches shorter for no other cause than his genetics, his income would be £1,500 less than his taller counterpart. If a woman was a stone heavier for genetic reasons alone, her income would also be reduced by £1,500 compared to her lighter counterpart.
Professor Tim Frayling oversaw the study at the Medical School, confirming that this information cannot be applied to every case, given that there are successful shorter men and overweight women.
Frayling asked: “Is this down to factors such as low self-esteem or depression, or is it more to do with discrimination? In a world where we are obsessed with body image, are employers biased? That would be bad both for the individuals involved and for society.”
The authors of the study have acknowledged that the volunteers for this medical research do not faultlessly reflect the wider population, with UK Biobank volunteers generally possessing a higher level of education.