A study by researchers from Brown University and Princeton University suggests that taller people may earn more money than short people because they’re smarter. The authors used government data sets that collected the height, weight, intelligence, educational experience, and salaries of people born in the US or the UK in 1958 and 1970 from their birth into adulthood. The results of their thorough analysis showed that the people who were tall as kids performed significantly better on cognitive tests. Plus, taller people tended to work in higher paying occupations that required greater intelligence and more advanced verbal and numerical skills. Researchers still remain perplexed by the connection between height and intelligence, but some suspect genetics or early childhood care could play an influential role on the brain.
Your dominant hand may not automatically indicate you’re a genius, but it could have its advantages. In fact, lefties may have the upper hand (no pun intended) in reaping more cognitive benefits than righties. A small study from the University of Athens took about 100 university students and graduates, half left-handed and half right-handed, and gave them two cognitive tests. One challenged the participants to make a trail through a batch of circles as quick as possible and the other included letter-number sequencing. The lefties performed better than the righties on both tests, which suggested that they had a stronger working memory and mental flexibility. Some experts suspect these cognitive abilities may be because left-handed people can use both sides of their brain more readily to process information.
High body fat can have an impact on many aspects of your overall wellbeing, from your blood pressure to your heart health – and possibly your cognitive function. In a five-year study of more than 2200 adults, researchers found that people with a body mass index (BMI) of 20 or less (the healthy BMI range is 18.5–24.9) could recall 56 per cent of words in a vocabulary test, while obese participants (a BMI of 30 or higher) only remembered 44 per cent. What’s more, the memory recall of the latter subjects dropped to 37.5 per cent when they were retested five years later. Dr Maxime Cournot, the study’s lead author, theorised that fat hormones could damage brain cells. “Another explanation could be that since obesity is a widely known cardiovascular risk factor, due to the thickening and hardening of the blood vessels, that the same happens with the arteries in the brain,” Dr Cournot told the Telegraph.