Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are Filipinos Getting Shorter?

I was curious what the average height of Filipinos is, so I googled and came up with this chart.

For those too lazy to click the link, the average Filipino is 163.5cm (5'4") and Filipinas are 151.8cm (just under five feet). This is six and four inches, respectively, shorter than their American counterparts.

But the text accompanying the chart had something that surprised me:
"In certain countries like the Philippines, younger generations are significantly shorter than those born in the 1970s and 1980s despite the economic growth and better standard of living. In Malaysia and Thailand, younger generations have experienced increased height."
If this is true, I question the "better standard of living" comment. I don’t see how declining height and improving living standards could possibly go together, since height is so closely related to the amount of protein in the diet.

I’ve read that the current generations in Japan and Korea are much taller than their parents, and also that there is a huge disparity in height between Koreans from the north and the south – in both cases the differences are generally attributed to the presence (or absence) of meat in the diet.

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