It’s official. Men from Netherlands are the tallest in the world. Women, on the other hand, are tallest in the country of Latvia.
The 100 year study also threw light on some other interesting aspects. During this century, men and women have grown taller with growth percentages being highest for men from Iran and women from South Korea, the numbers being 16.5 cm and 20 cm, respectively. 18 year olds of both sexes were considered for this study.
This research was carried out at Imperial College in London and published in the journal, eLife. It seems, Americans were among the tallest people in the world in 1914 but now are standing at 37th place for men and 42nd place for women. Another impressive statistic about this study is that all of the top ten countries in the study were from the European continent.
Going to the other end of the spectrum, the smallest men in the world are found in East Timor. These Southeast Asian country’s men are only 160 cm tall. In the Central American country of Guatemala, you will find the world’s shortest women of height 149.4 cm.
Since 1914, Indian women on an average have grown taller from 148 cm to 152.6 cm in 2014. Men, have also grown taller from 162 cm to 164.9 cm in 100 years.
Being taller is advantageous, says the study. Firstly, they have longer life expectancy and secondly, death from diseases related to the heart is vastly reduced for tall people. Taller people also tend to have greater salaries than people who are short and also have higher levels of education. But, as every upside has some downside, being tall also is associated with having an increased risk to some cancers.
800 scientists took part in this study and, from 1500 sources, collected all the data that they needed to conduct this study. Factors considered for this study were genetic, nutritional, and environmental. The mother’s health and nutrition during pregnancy are also important factors as to how tall her children may become.
The trend in Africa is worrying because people from a number of countries in north and central Africa have been shrinking in height. This also proves why nutrition and health is an important factor in the overall development of people.
Increases in height has important spillover effects for the coming generations because it is a consequence of the environmental conditions we are brought up in along with the good health that we possess.