Navigation Links
New data reveals that the average height of European males has grown by 11cm in just over a century
Date:9/1/2013

The average height of European males increased by an unprecedented 11cm between the mid-nineteenth century and 1980, according to a new paper published online today in the journal Oxford Economic Papers. Contrary to expectations, the study also reveals that average height actually accelerated in the period spanning the two World Wars and the Great Depression.

Timothy J. Hatton, Professor of Economics at the University of Essex and the Research School of Economics at Australian National University in Canberra, examined and analysed a new dataset for the average height (at the age of around 21) of adult male birth cohorts, from the 1870s to 1980, in fifteen European countries. The data were drawn from a variety of sources. For the most recent decades the data were mainly taken from height-by-age in cross sectional surveys. Meanwhile, observations for the earlier years were based on data for the heights of military conscripts and recruits. The data is for men only as the historical evidence for women's heights is severely limited.

Professor Hatton said, "Increases in human stature are a key indicator of improvements in the average health of populations. The evidence suggests that the improving disease environment, as reflected in the fall in infant mortality, is the single most important factor driving the increase in height. The link between infant mortality and height has already been demonstrated by a number of studies." Infant mortality rates fell from an average of 178 per thousand in 1871-5 to 120 per thousand in 1911-15. They then plummeted to 41 in 1951-5 and 14 in 1976-80.

In northern and middle European countries (including Britain and Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and Germany) there was a "distinct quickening" in the pace of advance in the period spanning the two World Wars and the Great Depression. This is striking because the period largely predates the wide implementation of major breakthroughs in modern medicine and national health services. One possible reason, alongside the crucial decline in infant mortality, for the rapid growth of average male height in this period was that there was a strong downward trend in fertility at the time, and smaller family sizes have already been linked with increasing height.

Other factors in the increase in average male height include an increased income per capita; more sanitary housing and living conditions; better general education about health and nutrition (which led to better care for children and young people within the home); and better social services and health systems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kirsty Doole
kirsty.doole@oup.com
44-018-653-55439
Oxford University Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCI-led study reveals how SARS virus hijacks host cells
2. Pottery residue reveals spice use in prehistoric European cuisine
3. Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made
4. Global investigation reveals true scale of ocean warming
5. Study reveals potential role of love hormone oxytocin in brain function
6. Bees under threat from disease-carrying bumblebee imports, research reveals
7. First global atlas of marine plankton reveals remarkable underwater world
8. Fear factor: Missing brain enzyme leads to abnormal levels of fear in mice, reveals new research
9. Surprise finding reveals how adaptive our immune systems can be
10. New study reveals important role of insulin in making breast milk
11. Study reveals ancient jigsaw puzzle of past supercontinent
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/28/2016)... SYNA ), a leading developer of human interface solutions, today ... --> --> Net revenue ... to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 million. Net income ... $0.93 per diluted share. --> ... 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year period to $60.3 ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... DUBLIN , Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Biometrics Market in ... offering. --> Research and ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 18, 2016 ... storage security software that simplifies the use and ... a technology and go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... "American Cyber brings extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR ... missions implementing and integrating the latest proven technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... current winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating Award from Circuits Assembly ... its business units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and China. , The EMS ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... testing services, announced today the launch of its revamped and improved website. In ... language service solutions, the redesigned website will better communicate how the company designs ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The publishing ... Open Access publishing is one of the popular publication models that has received ... journals and 3000+ International Conferences across the globe, OMICS International ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... and LONDON , February 9, ... leading bio tech replace paper and protect ... web-based electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) will be rolled out in ... paper-based research and development (R&D) and protect valuable IP. Users ... and follow a specific researcher or experiment as part of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: