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spongetaro
12-07-11, 13:01
I've selected a few article about the evolution of height and its origins in two countries: Netherlands and the USA.



Dutch have become taller and American "smaller"



The Dutch were not noted for their height until recently. It was only in the 1950s that they passed the Americans, who stood tallest for most of the last 200 years, said John Komlos, a leading expert on the subject who is professor of economic history at the University of Munich in Germany. He said the United States has now fallen behind Denmark.

Dutch, than nowdays are among the tallest people in the world, were notoriously short before the 20th century. The Low Countries since the 15th century hadby far the highest rate of urban poopulation. Spanish soldiers in the Low Countriesin the 16th and 17th centuries looked down on the local people, for instance Military tratadist Sancho de LondoƱa wrote that one of the reasons of the superiority of the Spanish infantry was that Spanish soldiers were taller and stronger, so they could yield longer pikes than the Dutch.



Factors Influencing Height




In the late 1700s, for example, American-born colonialists made good use of their sparsely populated, protein-rich environment to become taller than their European contemporaries: average height was five foot eight for American men, judging from military and prison records. That was nearly two inches taller than the average British soldier. Just decades later, however, a strange stunting started to occur that researchers don't fully understand. American incomes rose from the early to mid-1800s, but that didn't equate to better living conditions. As Americans became richer -- as a group anyway -- they also shrank.By the early 1900s, Americans were again among the world's tallest people. But now measurers are starting to detect another mysterious levelling off. At an average of five foot ten, American-born men from the 1970s are not much taller than their great-grandfathers. So much for the modern diet.


Average heights declined over the next 1,800 years as food supply failed to keep pace with population growth and people moved into disease-ridden cities, said Maat. He spoke from his office, cluttered with leg bones and skulls, overlooking a grassy quadrangle that is the burial site of thousands killed by plague in 1635. Even during the 17th century, when Amsterdam was the world's richest city, wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few merchants and average height did not increase.

In Northern Europe, human height reached a high around 800 A.D., but then dropped to a low in the 17th century before climbing back up again. Two main factors seem to have caused this dip. The first was the growth of cities: the more people were clustered together, the less food there was to go round and the faster diseases spread; the second was the drop in global temperatures, during what is known as the Little Ice Age. Findings such as these have made it clear that human height is not just linked to genetics or diet, but is much more sensitive to a range of influences than was previously thought.

Reinaert
14-07-11, 18:43
I guess it has to do a lot with food.

I was born in the 1950's and my height is 1.75 meter.
In the 1970's I was a standard Dutch with that height.
Now, 40 years later, 1.85 is standard.

My grandson is estimated to grow until he reaches 1.95 meter.

It's a combination of the allways! harsh weather, and the food and sports we have to do.
Dutchies use bicycles a lot. Even in a storm.
I did go to my work, and came back two days in a row soaking wet.
And I don't care. I feel fine.
My clothes are working like a diving wet suit. And it works!
I feel better than with a raincoat!

spongetaro
15-07-11, 21:08
I guess it has to do a lot with food.

And what do Dutch people eat specially ?

gigrant74
03-08-11, 17:00
And what do Dutch people eat specially ?

danishes. :laughing:

Reinaert
03-08-11, 20:14
?? Danishes?

I think the secret is simple. Kids are monitored a bit between 0 and 5 years old.
The health care program is checking growth and development on a regular basis.
If there are problems with some food, there are alternatives.

Basically Dutch modern food is a variety from all over the world.
But basic food is potatoes, bread, but also pasta and rice.
Combined with vegetables, meat and fish.
I think the right word for it is "fusion cooking".

MOESAN
07-01-12, 22:51
diet, plagues and climate play all a role in determination of the stature - but way of life and physical sport and work have a very big role - when ethnic origins are very close in a region, in town as in countryside, everytime the town population is higher statured thant the country (agricultural) population whatever the diet - everytime too the high classes population is higher statured thant the lower classes populations - and this elevation of stature is not linked to a better health, not in every case - it seams that too much or a lack of or a good equilibrium in physical efforts before and during adloescence can change the way of growing and the age of ossification of skeleton - for I know, almost everywhere the new generations are taller than the old ones - the phenomenon is stronger in countries of recent industriallisation (sure it' not uniform and the degree of automatization in work plays a big role) -
in proportion as a whole, the new tall generation have smaller heads, smaller faces, narrower shoulders and spann, more gracile skeletons (and fewer sexual skeleton differentiations in occidental countries) when their hands and feet sema to be big enough - the humerus also seam being longer and evidently the muscular mass is lighter proportionally to the stature -

I've not to big comfidence in ancient descriptions of colonized people by the masters: Nazies said the Czech Bohemians was dwarves when these last ones was taller than the Sudetes Germans!!!
and the politically correct today studies in some countries don't take account of immigration effects: bias! already in the past that could have been the case - what kind of "Yankees" has been studied these last years???

recent crossing has a positive result on stature at the first crossing generations - after I red it fade out -

I believe that colonies population had often higher and larger bodies as a whole than their mates stayed in the country of origin (it's not natural selection but self psychological selection) -
professionnal 'class' selection exists too: as a whole the managerial employees are taller than basic employees (external psychological selection)

+ I red not long time ago that Bosniaks was even higher than Dutch people (and it's old enough: this country already had the leadership in matter of stature about the 1930's)