Women growing taller stories

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Dutch men and Latvian women are now the tallest in the world, height study reveals. Where do you stand on the global height chart? Men and women have grown taller over the last century, with South Korean women shooting up by more than 20cm 7. A comprehensive global study looked at the average height of year old men and women in countries between and The reveal that while Swedes were the tallest people in the world inDutch men have risen from 12th place to claim top spot with an average height of Latvian women, meanwhile, rose from 28th place in to become the tallest in the world a century later, with an average height of With an increase in height seen across the century in every country around the world, the British have also gained a few inches.

Both men and women have added around 11cm 4.

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James Bentham, a co-author of the research from Imperial College, London, says that the global trend is likely to be down primarily to improvements in nutrition, hygiene and healthcare. A little extra height brings a of advantages says Elio Riboli, co-author of the paper and director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College, London.

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The research was published in the journal eLife by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a network of nearly health scientists worldwide. The scientists drew on almost sources, including government health studies and military data, to model changes in the height of year-olds across countries over years from The show that men are taller than women around the world, while for both sexes European countries now scoop the top 10 positions for height, with Dutch men and Latvian women the tallest for their sex.

That, says Bentham, could be down to the introduction of a welfare state in many European countries. By contrast, men from Timor-Leste are the shortest, with a height of But while height has increased around the world since the eve of the first world war, the researchers found that the degree of change varied greatly between countries. While South Korean women have shot up by just over 20cm 7. American men, meanwhile, have plateaued in height since the s, resulting in a drop from third place in to 37th place in That, the authors suggest, could be down to worsening levels of nutrition and greater inequalities.

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The trend in many countries of north and sub-Saharan Africa is also cause for concern says Riboli. While the research shows that height increased in countries such as Uganda and Niger during the early 20th century, the trend has reversed in recent years, with height decreasing among year-olds. The nutritional and health crises that followed the policy of structural adjustment, he says, led to many children and teenagers failing to reach their full potential in terms of height. Bentham believes the global trend of increasing height has important ramifications.

Human biology. This article is more than 5 years old. The global trend for increased height is likely to be primarily down to improvements in nutrition, hygiene and healthcare over the past century. Photograph: Alamy.

Nicola Davis. Tue 26 Jul Topics Human biology Health Genetics Nutrition news. Reuse this content.

Women growing taller stories

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