Dutch height increase slows
The Dutch, thought to be the world's tallest people, seem to have stopped growing.
Average heights have increased scarcely or not at all since 2001, the Central Bureau for Statistics said Monday in a new study.
From the early 1980s to 2000, the height of the average Dutch man increased by more than 3 centimeters, to above 180 centimetres (just under 5 foot, 11 inches) in 2000. But since 2001, heights have been unchanged at 180.6 centimetres.
Dutch women gained a fraction of a centimeter to 167.7 centimetres (around 5'6"), the agency said.
Study author Frans Frenken speculated the Dutch may be reaching a natural peak.
"Previous gains are usually attributed to improvements in nutrition and health care," he said. "If they've reached their optimum level then there's not much more you can do."
International studies have found the Dutch to be the world's tallest people, usually ascribing that to wealth, nutrition, genetics, and the country's universal health care system.
John Komlos, of the University of Munich, who has studied height differences between the U.S. and the Netherlands, said "the results are not surprising."
"I've been saying for some time now that the Dutch are not going to increase in height much: they've probably reached their genetic limit," he said. "Nobody knows for certain, and I'm just guessing."
He says the most recent data show Dutch boys reaching adulthood are, on average, 184 centimetres. That's 5.6 centimetres taller than their American counterparts, a gap that has been increasing since World War II.
Frenken based his figures on his agency's annual poll of around 10,000 people, adjusting them slightly to reflect people's tendency to exaggerate their height.
An influx of immigrants has lowered the average Dutch height slightly. Male immigrants are 6 centimetres shorter, decreasing the national average by about 0.6 of a centimetre.
He said he couldn't predict whether children of immigrants would be as tall as other Dutch. "We just don't have the data," he said.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Which country would be hardest to invade?
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
UK weather: Severe weather warning for snow and torrential rain over bank holiday weekend
Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...