100 Year Study Reveals The Long And The Short Of Genetics

The Netherlands is land of the giants for men, according to scientists releasing the results of a study that has lasted more than 100 years.

The average Dutchman stands six feet (183cm) tall.

To find the tallest women, go to Latvia, where the average height for a female is five feet seven (170cm).

Scientists have just published the results online after monitoring average heights for men and women across 187 countries since 1914.

Surprisingly, some countries have shown remarkable growth spurts during the duration of the research.

Tallest and shortest

Men in Iran have grown an average six inches (16cm) and women in South Korea by eight inches (20cm).

The average British man measures five feet 10 inches tall (178cm), while women are five feet five (164cm).

Europeans loom over the rest of the world, but like America, they seem to be evening out across the continent and slowing compared with the rest of the world.

Americans have stood still. At the start of the study, US men were the world’s third tallest and women were fourth. Now, they rank 37th for men and 42nd for women.

The shortest men come from East Timor, in the Asia pacific, where the average height is five foot three (160cm).

Why people differ in height

The world’s women with lowest average height live in Guatemala, Latin America, where they measure four feet 11 inches (140 cms). Guatemala has held this ranking for the entire duration of the survey. In 1914, women were four feet seven (140cm).

“People from different countries grow to different heights. This may be partly due to genetics, but most differences in height between countries have other causes,” says the report.

“For example, children and adolescents who are malnourished, or who suffer from serious diseases, will generally be shorter as adults.

“This is important because taller people generally live longer, are less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, and taller women and their children are less likely to have complications during and after birth.

“Taller people may also earn more and be more successful at school. However, they are also more likely to develop some cancers.”

Read the full survey details online

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