Has it always been like this? Not at all. In 1860 they were an average of 165 cm tall. But now it’s a land of giants. They surpass any other population on the planet. Why are the Dutch so big? His current average size is 183.8 centimeters. Her American colleagues had fallen behind by 177.1 cm. average. The average of 19-year-old boys from 11 countries in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa was compared. They were the same average height as the 13-year-old Dutchman.
Growing up together
“Humans have actually grown at record speeds over the past two centuries,” said Eirini Marouli, professor of biology at the University of London. And that is a fact all over the world. The men have grown from around 1.60 meters to 1.70 meters. Women, from 1.50 to about 1.60 ».
“The average adult is 5% taller than their ancestors 100 years ago.” The causes of this accelerated growth are discussed. Diet, democratization of wealth, and genetic factors are believed to play a role. Also the natural selection of tall men. But in the Netherlands there has been an increase of 20 centimeters in the last 200 years. Why are the Dutch so big?
“Genetics in action!” Exclaimed Marouli. “Too fast to be just a genetic effect,” Barrett said. He carried out a study on this. It turned out that the most fertile couples in the Netherlands were tall men and women of average height. And the most fertile American couples? Short women and medium-sized men.
Environmental factors have also triggered the Dutch. You have a world-leading healthcare system. Income inequality is low. “Everything is aimed at producing babies who then suffer nothing in order to reduce body size,” he said. Another factor can be your insatiable appetite for dairy products. “Calcium builds bones and growth depends on a good supply,” said Barrett.
“Body size is a model characteristic for all other complex genetic characteristics. It’s very easy to measure, ”explains Marouli. “If we can do it, it could give us the model to study other multifactorial disorders. Like diabetes, heart disease, etc. “