According to John Komlos, professor at the University of Munich, Europeans are gaining in height while Americans appear to have "stopped growing."
Komlos analyzed data from the last 200 years for about a quarter of a million people. He discovered at the time of the American War of Independence in 1775, the average American man was five feet nine inches tall, about two inches taller than the average British man. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The British are an inch taller than the Americans, whose men are now an average of five feet ten.
Komlos says access to healthcare, the quality of care given to pregnant women and babies, social status, and access to a balanced diet all influence height. The Dutch probably have the "world’s best" pre and post-natal care and as a result, the men there are the tallest in the world, at 6 feet tall on average. Back in the 1800’s the Dutch were 3 inches shorter than the Americans. Now they’re 3 inches taller.
But in the U.S., about forty million Americans have no health insurance and while Americans are not lacking when it comes to food access, what they choose to eat is a major factor when it comes to standing tall.
So if we want to grow right along with our European neighbors, we’d better start eating right and getting health care from infancy on up.