Korean Women Grew 20 cm Over Past Century

      July 27, 2016 11:33

      The average Korean woman is 20.1 cm taller than 100 years ago, the biggest increase in height of any country in the world.

      According to a study presented at the European Science Open Forum in Manchester, U.K. on Monday, the average Korean woman was just 142.2 cm tall in 1914 but now, a century later, measures 162.3 cm.

      Japanese women grew by the second biggest margin of 16 cm, followed by Czechs with 15.7 cm.

      Korean men also grew from 159.8 cm in 1914 to 174.9 cm two years ago, the third biggest increase after Iran (16.5 cm) and Greenland (15.4 cm).

      The study was conducted by some 800 health experts from around the world and the World Health Organization, who gathered 1,500 different types of data on 18.6 million adults from 200 countries and compared them to the same data in 1914.

      Koreans are 3 to 4 cm taller than people in China and Japan. The main reason for the growth spurt has been nutrition and improving health conditions on top of genetic factors, according to researchers.

      The country with the tallest men is the Netherlands at a strapping 182.5 cm, while Latvia has the tallest women at 169.8 cm. East Timor has the shortest men (159.8 cm) and Guatemala the shortest women (149.4 cm).

      Overall, people in Asia and the Middle East grew by the largest margin, but there was no very marked change in the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe.

      Height increases in the U.S. came to a standstill in the 1970s and started to go backward in the 2000s, according to the study.

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