July 9, 2007
I do not know how solid the statistics are here, but I find this interesting. Could this be true?
According to a new study, white and black Americans have been shrinking dramatically relative to their European counterparts since the end of World War Two.
Researchers say a population’s average height is a “mirror” reflecting the socioeconomic health of a society, and speculate that Americans’ worship of “market-based” social policies may explain why we’re now looking up to the Germans and Swedes.
It’s a dramatic reversal. We had always been giants, with the tallest men in the world going back as far as the data exists (at least to the mid-19th century). During the First World War, American GIs still towered over the Europeans they liberated. But for three decades beginning at the end of World War Two, Americans’ average height stagnated while Europeans continued the growth-spurt that one would expect to see during a period of relative peace and rising incomes.