We use Amazon Associate links to help support the site and the work we do.

Who Are the World’s Tallest People?

sweden

For most of the history of the United States, Americans were the tallest people in the world. Recently, though, northern Europeans became the world’s tallest people. The Scandinavians have a reputation for stature, but it turns out it is the the Dutch who are the tallest — eight inches taller, on average, than they were two centuries ago.

Hacker and Pierson argue the shift occurred because, these days, active government has made Europeans healthier than we are. In particular, according to the authors, they have healthier childhoods, because their governments offer more material help to pregnant women and infants than does the U.S. government.

Wonkblog: This is my favorite sentence in the book: “The Dutch have had to rewrite their building codes so men don’t routinely smash their heads into door frames.” Can you talk about why that fact is important?

Hacker: The United States has gone from being the country with the tallest people in the world by a pretty significant margin — during the Second World War, Americans were a couple inches taller than the Germans they were fighting — to a country in which heights are pretty middling compared with other rich democracies. We mention Dutch men running into the tops of doorways because we and the people who study height think it’s a very good marker of population health. It tells you about nutrition in the womb and socioeconomic cohesion and the degree to which a society is good at encouraging a sort of healthy flourishing, particularly in early life.

Full Story at The Washington Post

close

Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

To view our privacy and other policies, Click Here
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you. We are only able to offer them through the generosity of these QSF authors. You can always unsubscribe at a later date if you don't find anything of interest to you.
Once you submit this form, check your inbox to confirm this addition if you joined our newsletter list.

Leave a Comment