1. Education
Matt Rosenberg

Americans Not Getting Taller

By May 25, 2007

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Americans are shrinking in height with respect to their European counterparts and a recent study blames a failed health care system and lack of an effective social welfare system. Prior to World War II, Americans were taller than citizens of most other countries but since then, Europeans have grown taller and, perhaps, healthier.


May 29, 2007 at 4:07 pm
(1) Patience says:

My company has a great health plan and I take full advantage of it. I also try to eat right and get proper exercise and rest. If I get shorter, or if my descendants get shorter, we really can’t blame that on the government sponsored mess I assume the “recent study” is refering to when it references a “failed health care system” in the US. There is nothing failed about corporate sponsored US health care. In fact, it is probably the best the world has ever seen. Perhaps the pseudo-socialized plans in blue state (liberal dominated) cities are those the “recent study” is blaming. It is really silly to think that individual choices can be blamed on a system.

June 1, 2007 at 3:45 pm
(2) Babs says:

While I think our health care system is far from the best in the world, I agree with Patience that it’s not to blame. How about all the kids drinking soft drinks instead of milk? That seems a much likelier culprit than the “health care system”.

June 1, 2007 at 8:03 pm
(3) Anne Wiegle says:

Americans may be getting shorter not because of declining health and nutrition, but because of an influx of Hispanic immigrants, who may be shorter because of poorer nutrition in their countries of origin. I have no statistics, but I wonder if whoever made that claim looked at ethnic groups and their relative heights.

June 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm
(4) Siri Nimal says:

According to the link given (recent study) http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/4878

“…the research team looked only at “trends for the physical stature of the non-Hispanic white and black U.S. adult population,…”
Therefore, nutrition and health care can be contributing factors to this.

December 29, 2008 at 5:27 pm
(5) August says:

Americans are -NOT- shrinking. That is a misinterpretation of the articles you read. The 2004 articles say that American growth has been stagnant since 1970… but there is no bio-demo information. Who knows if this survey is counting the flood of Mexican immigrants who are dramatically shorter than American born people of all races. I am 6’2 and in my mid 30s… When I was a teenager, I was one of the tallest people I knew. Today, I can see a HUGE difference between people my age and those 15-20 years younger — especially women. I tend to be more ‘average’ when I stand in a group of teens and 20s.

And I have to address Anne’s comment… The idea that Americans have a “poor diet” shows how skewed our media supplied views are. The readily available calorie dense foods are what caused the height boom in the 70s (and probably today). If you want to see the same thing in modern times, look at teenagers in hong kong before and after McDonalds arrived. Once they started eating hamburgers and shakes, their kids shot up a foot taller or more than their parents.

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