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Jean M
07-26-2016, 02:31 PM
US and UK fall behind in largest ever global study of height
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2098563-us-and-uk-fall-behind-in-largest-ever-global-study-of-height/


The height of men and women in the UK has increased by around 11 centimetres over the last century. But the nation with the tallest average height for men is the Netherlands, while the tallest average height for women is found in Latvia. The largest ever study of global height found that in 2014, men in the Netherlands had an average height of 182.5 centimetres (5 feet, 11 inches). The average female height in Latvia was 170 centimetres (5 feet, 7 inches).

The tallest nations worldwide are all found in Europe, and also include Estonia, Denmark, Serbia and the Czech Republic. While the US had the third-tallest men and fourth-tallest women in the world back in 1914, the US has now slipped to 37th and 42nd place, respectively. British men are the 31st tallest worldwide, while British women are 38th.

The height of men and women in the UK has increased by around 11 centimetres over the last century. But the nation with the tallest average height for men is the Netherlands, while the tallest average height for women is found in Latvia.

The largest ever study of global height found that in 2014, men in the Netherlands had an average height of 182.5 centimetres (5 feet, 11 inches). The average female height in Latvia was 170 centimetres (5 feet, 7 inches).

The tallest nations worldwide are all found in Europe, and also include Estonia, Denmark, Serbia and the Czech Republic. While the US had the third-tallest men and fourth-tallest women in the world back in 1914, the US has now slipped to 37th and 42nd place, respectively. British men are the 31st tallest worldwide, while British women are 38th.

“Our study shows the English-speaking world, especially the US, is falling behind other high-income nations in Europe and Asia Pacific,” said Majid Ezzati, a global health researcher at Imperial College London. “Together with the poor performance of these countries in terms of obesity, this emphasises the need for more effective policies towards healthy nutrition throughout life.”

The greatest height increases over the past century were seen in women in South Korea – who are now an average of 20.2 centimetres taller – and men in Iran, where the average male height has increased by 16.5 centimetres. Iran has also seen large improvements in life expectancy in recent decades, in part due to new rural health programmes.

Captain Nordic
07-26-2016, 04:04 PM
So the tallest people in the world are Northern europeans?
What a suprise ;)

Jean M
07-26-2016, 04:28 PM
More from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36888541

The smallest men on the planet are to be found in East Timor (160cm; 5ft 3in).

The world's smallest women are in Guatemala, a status they also held back in 1914. According to the survey data, a century ago the average Guatemalan 18-year-old female was 140cm (4ft 7in). Today she has still not quite reached 150cm (4ft 11in).

The nations with the tallest men in 2014 (1914 ranking in brackets):


Netherlands (12)
Belgium (33)
Estonia (4)
Latvia (13)
Denmark (9)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (19)
Croatia (22)
Serbia (30)
Iceland (6)
Czech Republic (24)



The nations with the tallest women in 2014 (1914 ranking in brackets):


Latvia (28)
Netherlands (38)
Estonia (16)
Czech Republic (69)
Serbia (93)
Slovakia (26)
Denmark (11)
Lithuania (41)
Belarus (42)
Ukraine (43)

Gravetto-Danubian
07-26-2016, 04:45 PM
Yes anecdotal evidence has always pointed to Slavs and Nordics being the tallest people. However, Did this study include African nations ?
Also it'll be interesting how this pattern might change in 50 years as Asian countries become more developed

Jean M
07-26-2016, 05:59 PM
Did this study include African nations ?

Yes. The actual study is here: https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e13410
A century of trends in adult human height

Here are the height trends for several African countries and Iran for men and women:

https://elife-publishing-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/13410/elife-13410-fig8-v1.jpg

As you can see, the trend has continued steadily upwards in Iran, but topped out and then dropped in Sierra Leone, Niger, Rwanda, Uganda and Egypt. The authors say:


In contrast to East Asia’s impressive gains, the rise in height seems to have stopped early in South Asia and reversed in Africa, reversing or diminishing Africa’s earlier advantage over Asia. Prior studies have documented a rise in stunting in children in sub-Saharan Africa which continued to the mid-1990s (Stevens et al., 2012). Our results indicate that such childhood adversity may have carried forward to adulthood and be affecting health in the region. The early African advantage over Asia may also have been partly due to having a more diverse diet compared to the vegetable and cereal diet in Asia, partly facilitated by lower population density (Deaton, 2007; Moradi, 2010). Rising population, coupled with worsening economic status during structural adjustment, may have undermined earlier dietary advantage (Stevens et al., 2012; Pongou et al., 2006; Weil et al., 1990; Sundberg, 2009).

Jean M
07-26-2016, 06:09 PM
The Masai are among the tallest ethnic group on the planet, but the authors of this study collected statistics by nation.

GailT
07-26-2016, 08:04 PM
I cannot tell from the excerpts if the researchers controlled for ethnic background when comparing trends in heights. Part of the trend in the U.S. is likely caused by changes in ethnic mix rather than changes in nutrition.

Jean M
07-26-2016, 08:15 PM
I cannot tell from the excerpts if the researchers controlled for ethnic background when comparing trends in heights. Part of the trend in the U.S. is likely caused by changes in ethnic mix rather than changes in nutrition.

The full paper is here: https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e13410

It says: "We used data sources that were representative of a national, subnational, or community population and had measured height." It goes into a lot of detail on sources, but I don't know if any of it answers your question.

Gravetto-Danubian
07-26-2016, 08:28 PM
I cannot tell from the excerpts if the researchers controlled for ethnic background when comparing trends in heights. Part of the trend in the U.S. is likely caused by changes in ethnic mix rather than changes in nutrition.

Yep I was wanting to say. It depends on the Latino/ African / Caucasian mix they sampled and how the averaged out etc
The US has some big lads

Afshar
07-26-2016, 09:17 PM
I wonder if there is some correlation with dairy consumption

Shaikorth
07-26-2016, 09:24 PM
Looks like minorities were excluded. The exception to the rules is related to health facility data.


We excluded data sources on population subgroups whose anthropometric status may differ systematically from the general population, including:

studies that had included or excluded people based on their health status or cardiovascular risk;

ethnic minorities;

specific educational, occupational, or socioeconomic subgroups of the population; and

those recruited through health facilities, with the exception noted below.

Jean M
07-26-2016, 09:28 PM
I wonder if there is some correlation with dairy consumption

Some people certainly think so. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34380895


A nation of tall cheese-eaters

The Dutch drink a lot of milk, eat a lot of cheese, and are now the tallest people in the world. Could there be a connection? The author of a new book on the Netherlands, Ben Coates, explains how the Dutch became not only voracious but also very discerning cheese eaters....

To the Dutch, milk and cheese are staples, as essential a part of the weekly shop as rice is for a Chinese shopper or teabags are for an Englishman. It's said that about a sixth of the average Dutch food shopping bill goes on dairy products. In a typical year, the average Dutch person consumes more than 25% more milk-based products than their British, American or German counterparts.

Táltos
07-26-2016, 09:31 PM
So the tallest people in the world are Northern europeans?
What a suprise ;)

Don't forget Serbia in southeastern Europe.

leonardo
07-26-2016, 09:35 PM
Interesting, especially the premise regarding dairy consumption correlating to height. Most dairy products have a fair amount of protein. I wonder if that has an impact on height?

Illyro-Vlach
07-26-2016, 11:43 PM
So the tallest people in the world are Northern europeans?
What a suprise ;)

Males from the Dinaric Alps are the tallest of them all.

link to study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16168365)


This study contributes to an update of average heights among European populations. Our investigation covering 2705 boys and 2842 girls aged 17 years, shows that, contrary to the general belief, adolescents of the Dinaric Alps are, on average, the tallest in Europe. With an average height of 185,6 cm, they are taller than Dutch adolescents (184 cm on average). Above all, the density of very tall subjects appears to be characteristic of the Dinaric Alps, since 28% measure 190 cm or more in height, as opposed to only 20% in Holland and 1.5% in France. Although our information is not complete, adolescent girls in the Dinaric Alps, with an average height of 171 cm come a close second to girls in Holland.

Skerdilaidas
07-27-2016, 02:39 AM
I wonder if there is some correlation with dairy consumption

Definitely. Masai, which are the tallest people of the world, have a rich dairy diet. I have noticed similar trend with Punjabis of India also, they seem to consume quite a bit of dairy, and their youth here in Canada are exceptionally tall, taller then white Canadian on average.

Jean M
07-27-2016, 08:00 PM
The BBC has come up with a height quiz to test whether we have been paying attention. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36898981

I only got 4/7 right! :biggrin1:

dp
07-27-2016, 08:16 PM
The BBC has come up with a height quiz to test whether we have been paying attention. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36898981

I only got 4/7 right! :biggrin1:
I got 3/7. -dp

Volat
07-28-2016, 07:29 AM
Males from the Dinaric Alps are the tallest of them all.

link to study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16168365)

I met people from Bosnian & Herzegovina. So many people were very tall. I am 184cm tall. Despite being taller on average than my countrymen I didn't feel tall staying next to to those men.

Jessie
07-28-2016, 12:49 PM
Here is the full list for both males and females. Some populations are growing taller.

http://www.ncdrisc.org/height-ranking-mean.html

Neo
08-22-2016, 02:18 AM
Nilotic of East Africa people are among some of the tallest.Pacific Islanders like Samoans and Tongans are pretty tall(as well as big) too.

Chad Rohlfsen
08-23-2016, 11:42 PM
Yeah, the US Latino population went from 1% to 17% during that time. Probably explains a lot.

ADW_1981
08-24-2016, 03:25 AM
Males from the Dinaric Alps are the tallest of them all.

link to study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16168365)

Adolescents are not grown adults, not a very useful statistic. I still think the Dutch are the tallest with people from the western Balkans close behind.

Shaikorth
08-24-2016, 10:55 AM
Yeah, the US Latino population went from 1% to 17% during that time. Probably explains a lot.

They mention that studies which included ethnic minorities were excluded. The same phenomenon is going on in the UK, so this looks like early development correlating with economic history.