Short Men, Overweight Women Face Lower Pay
Being tall is associated with higher income for men and being overweight is associated with lower income for women. A new study shows that height and weight may have a direct cause-and-effect relationship with pay.
The study used Mendelian randomization — a genetic technique that helps clarify the causal relationship between human characteristics — to show that genetically determined height and weight can directly affect worldly success.
British researchers studied 119,669 men and women who either had or did not have various genetic variants known to influence height and B.M.I.
The study, in BMJ, found that 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. These differences between the sexes strengthen the conclusion that the effect has a genetic basis, independent of environment.
That taller men and thinner women are more successful has been shown in several observational studies, and environmental factors are certainly involved.
“But your environment, your lifestyle, can’t change your genes,” said the senior author, Timothy M. Frayling, a professor of human genetics at the University of Exeter. “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.”
“但是，你的环境和生活方式都不能改变你的基因，”该研究的主要作者，英国埃克塞特大学(University of Exeter)的人类遗传学教授蒂莫西·M·弗雷灵(Timothy M. Frayling)说。“这些数据表明，因遗传导致的个子矮一点儿或者身材胖一点儿与你生活贫困之间有一定的因果关系。以前我们可不知道这一点。”