Are We Getting Shorter?

Height is relative. So when you say “she’s tall” or “he’s short,” it’s relative to what you think is tall and what you think is short. In this age, Americans are shorter than they used to be compared to other countries.

In colonial times, Americans were the tallest people in the world. Now, the Dutch are the tallest in the world at around 4.7-5.7 centimeters taller(1.85-2.24 inches) than Americans. American men, on average are 5-foot-10, while American women are 5-foot-4.5. Dutch men are about 6-foot-0.8 tall, while Dutch women are at 5-foot-6.4. The average sixteen-year-old  American teenage girl is 5-foot-4, while an American teenage boy of the same age is 5-foot-8.3. In the Netherlands, at the same age, Dutch teen boys are 5-foot-10.5 while Dutch teen girls 5-foot-6.26. There is about a two-inch gap between what used to be the tallest nation in the world versus the current tallest nation in the world.

According to , Nickolay Lamm, a graphic artist and researcher, “the Dutch have some of the world’s best healthcare, particularly at the stages of life that really make a difference for how tall we end up — prenatal and the early years of childhood.”

As of 2009, Americans were considered to have one of the shortest height averages in the world. The reason for that is fast food. High in cholesterol, carbs, and low in nutrition, too much fast food in those “prenatal and early years of childhood” prevent you from being as tall as you might have been.

Of course, it’s not necessarily too late to gain some height. Studies show that moderate amounts of exercise can help you grow. But don’t overdo it; too much exercise actually makes you shorter too. To sum up, eat well and exercise, but not too much, if you want to reach your growing potential.

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