Last updated at 08:59am on 18th October 2007
Those not blessed with height are often accused of having a chip on their shoulder.
Now a study has found that they might, in fact, have an unhealthy attitude to life.
Short men and women apparently complain of poorer mental and physical health than those of an average height.
Researchers examined more than 14,000 responses to the 2003 Health Survey for England.
The subjects had given details of their height, weight, age, gender, long-standing illness and social class.
They were then asked to rate their health on a range of indicators such as mobility, pain and depression.
Those in the shortest height category - men shorter than 5ft 4in and women shorter than 5ft - reported much poorer health, according to the report in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.
The survey did not ascertain how healthy they actually were, just how well they thought they were.
Lead researcher Dr Torsten Christensen said: "Using this large and nationally representative sample of the UK population, we found shorter people report that they experience lower physical and mental well-being than taller people do.
"Our results also indicate that the shorter someone is, the stronger this relationship becomes."
She added that an increase in height of one inch would have a positive impact on the healthrelated quality of life of a short person, whereas the effect of an extra inch would be negligible for a person of normal height.
Dr Christensen found that short people would have a 6 per cent higher health rating if they were around three inches taller.
This is the equivalent to the health benefit experienced by an obese person losing two and a half stones.
Dr Christensen, of Danish healthcare company Novo Nordisk, added: "We know that people who are short experience more difficulties in areas of their life such as education, employment and relationships than people of a normal height.
"Although our study does not show that short height directly causes a reduction in physical and mental health, it does indicate that short people are more likely to feel that they experience a lower healthrelated quality of life."
She added: "Further research is now needed to clarify the precise relationship between changes in height and health-related quality of life."
Short height in adult life can either be due to normal development or can be caused by a number of diseases such as growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome.
Treatment with growth hormone for children with these conditions can increase their final height by as much as four inches.
The study shows that these height increases could have a huge positive effect on a person's mental wellbeing once they grow up.