How your size could be affecting your payslip

Shorter and overweight people earn less on average, according to a new report...

How your size could be affecting your payslip

Picture by: SANG TAN / AP/Press Association Images

A genetics study from the University of Exeter has found that your height and weight really does matter when it comes to your earning power.

Scientists found that shorter men and overweight women in particular could suffer from lower incomes than their taller, slimmer counterparts – and the stats make for quite dramatic reading.

A difference of one stone in a woman’s weight could account for a £1,500 swing in her annual income. As for men, adding 2.5 inches to their height will gift them almost £1,600 more annually.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the genetics of approximately 120,000 people aged between 40 and 70 and identified the correlation between your height and body mass index (BMI) and your pay packet with information taken from the UK Biobank.

While previously poor nutrition has been linked to poor education, which could account for the income disparity, the new findings have been attributed to discrimination based on a widespread “obsessions with body image”.

Issues around people’s self-image also come into play, as those with lower self-esteem are less likely to look for raises or promotion.

Professor Frayling, co-author of the paper, has said:

“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.

"This won't apply in every case. Many shorter men and overweight women are very successful, but science must now ask why we are seeing this pattern.

"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".