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Height and weight have a direct correlation to pay, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ.
Researchers studied 119,669 men and women to look for genetic markers known to influence height and weight, and found a direct relationship between body type and income. For every 2.5 inches of extra height, a man earns an average of $1,611 more per year and is 12 percent more likely to work in a high-status job. For women, weight can drag down pay, with every 4.6 points increase in body mass index chipping $4,200 off her earnings.
The authors allowed that higher BMI could harm health, which could bring down productivity and thus income, but said that the lower income was reported both among women with a higher BMI and no harmful health effects as well as those with them.
"These findings have important social and health implications, supporting evidence that overweight people, especially women, are at a disadvantage and that taller people, especially men, are at an advantage," the researchers wrote.