Europeans growing taller as Americans bottom out
Americans are not walking as tall anymore --- literally --- and it's a mystery that has spawned a number of theories. The New Yorker's (April 5) Burkhard Bilger talks with experts about why Americans' vertical growth rate is flat while Europeans are getting taller. The average American man is only 5 feet 9 1/2 inches tall, or less than an inch taller than the average soldier during the Revolutionary War. Women have shrunk by a third of an inch since their high mark of 5 feet 5 in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Dutch men now average 6 feet 1 and women 5 feet 8. Theories for the differences between American and European growth rates range from quality of prenatal care (the Netherlands has free clinics) and health care in general to nutrition. In a British study, one group of schoolchildren was given burgers, fries and typical snacks. The other group ate World War II rations such as corned beef and cabbage. "Within eight weeks," Bilger writes, "the children on the rations were both taller and slimmer than the ones on a regular diet."
Now, what I wonder is, are Americans just getting so FAT that gravity is keeping them down? Ho ho ho, that was only a half-kid ;)
Meanwhile this got me thinking on my own family and how odd it is to think that actually, at 6'0" *, I'm below the average height for us folk!
I worked it out and the average height among us Darlings is 73 in., or 6'1". I think the average shoe size is probably an 11 men's. My father and bother both wear size 14 1/2 I think, while I wear a 9 1/2 men's (11 women's, 43 Euro.). I think my sisters and mother are all around an 8 1/2 men's.
* Sorry, too lazy at the moment to work this out metrically. I know I'm about 183 cm. but the rest I don't know.