PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Does a person’s height or size really affect job prospects? According to researchers, the answer is yes.

A study was conducted to determine whether height and body mass index (BMI) have a causal role in socioeconomic status.

Researchers say a woman who is heavier than another female of the same stature is estimated to miss out on about $4,269 every year.

Additionally, a woman who has the same intellect and background as her counterpart, becoming 14 pounds heavier would cause her to lose out on $4,269 per year, according to the study.

As for men, researchers say if a man was 3” shorter for no other reason than his genetics, this would lead to him to losing out on $2,135 per year.

Professor Tim Frayling, of the University of Exeter Medical School 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. Although we knew there was a strong association, most people assumed that shorter height and higher BMI were a consequence of poorer nutrition and chances in life. Now we have shown that there is an effect in the other direction as well – shorter height and higher BMI can actually lead to lower income and other lifestyle measures.”

“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,” Frayling concluded.