Monday, February 12, 2007

Dutch Height, Again   posted by DavidB @ 2/12/2007 02:18:00 AM

GNXP has carried several previous posts about the long-term increase in adult heights, for example my post here. Average height is said to have increased by several inches over the last century in most Western countries (and in post-war Japan and Korea), but the increase has been less in the USA, which started at a higher level, than in Europe. Some European countries have now overtaken the US, and the Western world's tallest people are now the Dutch.

There is apparently a new study confirming this trend, and analysing the reasons: see this report from the London Times. It may be worth mentioning a letter to the Times following this report, from one Philip Lawford, which attributed the increase in the Netherlands to the very high consumption of dairy products there, from cattle fed on growth-enhancing additives.

I doubt that this is the main reason, as the long-term trend started before the agricultural use of growth hormones, but it is worth considering as a possible marginal factor.