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View Full Version : European height study - diet and genes



alan
08-14-2014, 01:23 PM
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X14000665

rms2
08-14-2014, 02:28 PM
Well, my brothers and I have the top averages beat, but we were raised on a lot of meat and dairy products. :biggrin1:

parasar
08-14-2014, 02:40 PM
Lactose tolerance E-M96 + G-201 + J-P209 26 -0.73 0.53 0.00002



Male height E-M96 + G-201 + J-P209 43 -0.64 0.41 0.000004


Interesting negative correlations! Aren't these the Neolithic 'farmer' halpogroups?

alan
08-14-2014, 03:16 PM
The dabbling in yDNA looks a bit dubious. For example Ireland and Scotland come in taller than England despite much lower U106, R1a and I. I think its got a lot more to do with diet and conditions except in rare cases where genetic oddities occur. Scandis even when poor had a strong tradition of eating fish. More importantly they also didnt have the 5 generations or so of protracted epic poverty and dire conditions of the industrial heartlands of the UK which was legendary in its horribleness and which was still bad in many areas until WWII.

On a personal level the slow improvement of my family's fortunes from rock bottom poverty 100 years ago seems to be reflected in a very steady height improvement from 5ft 4/5 to 5ft 7/8 to 5ft 11 to 6ft 2 in successive generations on the male line - a 3 inch improvement in every generation - 9 inches in 3 generations. I can see very similar big jumps in height over 3 living generations among the family of friends and neighbours I grew up with too (mostly similarly slowly moving up the ladder from poor to lower middle class).

parasar
08-14-2014, 04:12 PM
Same here.
5'6 to 5'11 to 6'4 over three generations.

Jean M
08-14-2014, 04:37 PM
The dabbling in yDNA looks a bit dubious.

That's putting it mildly! I lost count of the number of unsubstantiated assumptions.

alan
08-14-2014, 05:01 PM
I was lucky enough to know the little chap who was my great granddad. Even though he was born around 1880 he lived to nearly 100 - which was more than twice the average age of death for his birth year. He was orphaned very young and brought up by maternal grandparents and very poor but he seemed to be bright and together and made what was then the really big step up going from one step from the poorhouse to reaching some sort of low level managing position in a textile factory. He seems to have been blessed with a good brain and an incredible immune system!

alan
08-14-2014, 05:29 PM
I admit there is clearly some sort of oddity in the huge Balkans people but elsewhere a lot of it looks to be linked to socio-economic things - largely diet. Also diets that traditionally have a lot more fish and meat seem to give height. In densely populated areas for a long time the diet was not meat based and the industrial age population lived on wheat bread in most areas. It was apparently better to live on potatoes and milk such as the rural western Irish and highland Scots in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when their peculiar diet made them some of the tallest Europeans. That height advantage rapidly disappeared after the potato famine.


That's putting it mildly! I lost count of the number of unsubstantiated assumptions.

Mehrdad
08-14-2014, 06:32 PM
Like parasar, my dad is 5'11 I am 6'4 and my sons are tall for their age. We think that my oldest will be 6'2 and my youngest will be 6'5, he's already the tallest in his pre-school, he's 4 and he's 4"3. I honestly think it's a little bit of genetics, diet and environment.

Agamemnon
08-14-2014, 06:56 PM
All males are 5'7 in my family (father's side).

rms2
08-14-2014, 10:05 PM
I was lucky enough to know the little chap who was my great granddad. Even though he was born around 1880 he lived to nearly 100 - which was more than twice the average age of death for his birth year. He was orphaned very young and brought up by maternal grandparents and very poor but he seemed to be bright and together and made what was then the really big step up going from one step from the poorhouse to reaching some sort of low level managing position in a textile factory. He seems to have been blessed with a good brain and an incredible immune system!

You were blessed. I didn't even get to know either of my grandfathers.

Anglecynn
08-14-2014, 10:23 PM
Interesting reading the bit about nutrition, how people with larger cereal (and to a lesser extent vegetable) diets tended to be shorter than those with diets high in milk, pork and fish. Does remind me of i think Tacitus or perhaps another Roman commenting on height, exaggerating the height difference (which i believe was only an inch or perhaps two) between northern and southern Europe, but also mentioning that a lot of them (although i think it was Britain specifically) had diets heavy in milk and meat.

I'm quite tall and drank a lot of milk growing up (sometimes still do), although i'm the shortest of the men in my immediate family. Although my paternal great-grandfather was a very tall guy (6"4' or around that i think) but born in the 1890s, and he came from a pretty poor background as far as i can tell. It seems to jump generations, my grandfather was a similar height to me when he was young (a little taller), and my dad is around 6"5', and i'm about 6"1'. Obviously i don't know if that was a trend further back, as i don't have any real personal knowledge of my great-great-grandfather on that line, but i assume he was shorter.

Gray Fox
08-15-2014, 01:31 AM
I believe I get my height from my Mothers side of the family. I stand a solid 6"1', my Dad is about 5"10' and my Mom is 5"8'. My paternal Grandfather was more around six foot and my maternal Grandfather was the same height as me. Every man from my maternal Grandfathers family is at least six foot tall, with the tallest being 6"8'! Something I've noticed in this region, the men who are over 6"3' usually tend to have smaller torsos and longer limbs. For instance, my cousin through my maternal grandmothers family is 6"4' and my shoulders look about twice as broad as his. I've got a couple of friends of similar build to him too.

ADW_1981
08-15-2014, 04:11 PM
I believe I get my height from my Mothers side of the family. I stand a solid 6"1', my Dad is about 5"10' and my Mom is 5"8'. My paternal Grandfather was more around six foot and my maternal Grandfather was the same height as me. Every man from my maternal Grandfathers family is at least six foot tall, with the tallest being 6"8'! Something I've noticed in this region, the men who are over 6"3' usually tend to have smaller torsos and longer limbs. For instance, my cousin through my maternal grandmothers family is 6"4' and my shoulders look about twice as broad as his. I've got a couple of friends of similar build to him too.

My dad's side of the family ranges from average height to short in recent history. That side has been in the city of York/Toronto since 1850's as trades people rather than farmers (I believe). My mother's mother's side were fairly tall (~6 feet) as per the WWI records and farmers residing near North Bay, Ontario.
Perhaps diet has something to do with it. I was not a milk drinker growing up, but I was never malnourished by any means. I'm the tallest person in our recorded ancestry at 6"3.