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Thread: Tallest populations : the real story

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    Tallest populations : the real story

    I think we can all pretty much agree that height is a trait that people talk about a great deal. But it is also really misunderstood and is surrounded by false stereotypes, like Northern Europeans are giants or the Chinese are short. First of all, it is important to know that Northern Europeans (currently around 181cm) are very close to their optimal height since they were well-off for many decades and eat a lot of animal proteins (the most influential height factor after DNA). And their height is nothing special, even at its optimal 182cm or so stage, except maybe the Balts who seem to actually be rather tall as well as the anomalous, probably selection-driven Dutch with their 184cm. Honestly, Southern Euros might very well catch up with most Northerners while dinaric people are already taller and could reach as much as 190cm for Herzegovinians (currently more or less 185cm for the new gen), easily making them the tallest Europeans both currently and optimally!

    However, as tall as Euros seem to be, there are actually many african populations with much taller height averages, at least potentially if given the same amount of prosperous decades. The various elongated nilotic tribes of the South Sudan are of course the tallest people of the world, their optimal height might be as high as 200cm on average or at the very least 195cm! Then you have the great lakes ''Nilo-Hamites'' (Turkana, Maasai, Datog...) and the Sahelians, especially the Senegalese and the Malians, for whom an optimal height of 193cm would be realistic. I'm actually familiar with the Senegalese and the Malians and I assure you that their height is extreme, no less than a third of the males reach 190cm, as impressive and unreal it might sound to you ! It is also believed that the Tuareg Berbers might be even taller than their black neighbors, which would result in them being ranked second in the world maybe or third if the ''Nilo-Hamites'' happen to be taller. The Cushites are also very tall, I'm familiar with the Somalis and their average is currently about 183-184cm for the young generation born and raised here and I believe the Ogaden Somalis from Ethiopia are even taller. Note that populations that were subjected to a lot of food deprivation will require more time to attain their optimal stature so maybe the Somalis could surpass even the western Sahelians, though I'm not sure. I'm also very well acquainted with the Chadians and they're easily as tall as the Somalis. Then I can also tell that the Tunisians are tall as well, about 182cm for young men.

    So these are really the tallest people of the world, not the Swedes, Germans or even the Dutch. Even other african populations of less extreme height will end up taller than most Nordics, including both Blacks and Maghrebis, the two of whom already at around 180-181cm on average when born and raised here. The only Europeans that could be making it to the top ten are the Bosnians. To be fair, even West Asians and North Indians are getting taller than most Euros and here they're currently at 178cm. The Chinese whom I referred to earlier are actually not the dwarfs most people portray them to be, the northern Han at least will definitely reach the northern european level as well if not surpass it. Even the Bengalis whom were being towered at by everybody are now at 175cm over here and the Cambodians are already at 177cm! The shorter populations include the Vietnamese and the Latino-Americans, both at about 173cm or maybe 174cm for the former who are for some reason much shorter than the Cambodians, a fact historically already attested.

    One very important thing to keep in mind also is that populations with longer legs (Africans especially) have higher standard deviations due to the legs being more plastic - as in the most influenced by non genetic factors - body parts growth wise compared with the torso. Thus the long-legged populations are expected to gain more height under optimal conditions since more of their stature is made up by the legs, this would bring down their high SDs and raise their stature at the same time.
    Last edited by Squad; 02-17-2018 at 02:50 PM.

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    speculations based on unsubstantiated claims

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Abubu View Post
    speculations based on unsubstantiated claims
    Which part exactly you find speculative? The modern averages are both from studies and personal observations since I live in arguably the most multiethnic city of the world and I assure you I'm not just making numbers up. The expected optimal averages are estimated by using, as a calibration, the secular height increase that happened in Europe during the last 150 years or so during which populations such as the Dutch ultimately grew 15 to 20 centimeters as well as that observed in Japan, whose mean height increased from 157-158cm to 172-173cm, but still hasn't reached its maximum mostly due to low animal protein intake and the recent trend of japanese pregnant women undergoing self-imposed dieting (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20.../#.WoitLlrOWUk), resulting in a decrease in national birthweight which is linked with final adult height and prevents the Japanese from growing any further as a nation. So if we take these two facts into account, it is possible that the Japanese could optimally reach something like 176-177cm, which would be about 1.12 times the value for the 19th century. If we apply this factor to other populations, it might serve as a good approximation for their average height under optimal conditions.
    Last edited by Squad; 02-18-2018 at 10:12 PM.

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    Any substantial dietetic reasons behind the tall height of many Africans? I've been to Africa before but may seem ignorant on this... the food didn't strike me as something that supports good body growth

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    It's called Allen's rule. It pertains to height, leg to torso ratio, brachycephaly to doliocephaly etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yelmex View Post
    Any substantial dietetic reasons behind the tall height of many Africans? I've been to Africa before but may seem ignorant on this... the food didn't strike me as something that supports good body growth
    Those Africans are genetically tall probably through selection of any kind or sometimes mutation(s) preceding a certain founder effect. If they were to be on animal protein rich diets, they would be even taller like over here in ''the west'' where they tower over everyone, you would know this if there were senegalese in your area for example.

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  11. #7
    Obviously it is because of cow's milk. The IGF-1 levels are meant to turn a baby cow into a gigantic plant-eating machine in 6 months. When humans consume this, they become abnormally large. Chinese are mostly lactose intolerance, hence milk is a small part of their culture. As well, animal protein is relatively low. Mesolithic Europeans were relatively short and stocky.

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    Yes you got the reason, there are a lot of ethnic groups in the world that is hard classify for height, is not the height is the kind of body

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emilio Delfin Vang B View Post
    Yes you got the reason, there are a lot of ethnic groups in the world that is hard classify for height, is not the height is the kind of body
    What?

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    My own height is 185.42 cm or 6 foot 1 inch. Here's a height bell curve I found. I'm not sure what the source of its stats is, and I don't feel like hunting it down, so take it with whatever size grain of salt you feel is needed. It strikes me as probably fairly accurate.

    height bell curve.jpg
     


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