Walking Short

10:15 AM -- The [fairly tall] Australian gloatingly reports on a not-so-looming height crisis facing the United States:

    AMERICANS are not walking as tall as they once did.

    From colonial times until after World War II, Americans were the tallest people on earth, as befitted the richest nation. But European nations have overtaken them, according to a study. The Dutch are now the tallest and the Norwegians, Danish and Germans have also overtaken the Americans.

    Why this should be is a puzzle, admit John Komlos, professor of economic history at the University of Munich, and Benjamin Lauderdale, of the politics department at Princeton, reporting in Annals of Human Biology.

    Professor Komlos suspects it may have something to do with the junk food trend that hit the US before Europe. Alternatively, the more equitable healthcare systems enable Europeans to reach their optimum height, while many poorer children in the US remain deprived.
Hell. According to this list (hey, it's on the Internet, so it must be true), Americans are shorter than Iraqis, Irish, and Belgians. Belgians!

Blame the Big Mac™? I dunno. Might immigration have something to do with it? After all, many of our new arrivals come from altitudinally challenged countries. Let's try and attract more Croatians and Zimbabweans, shall we?

Maybe even Belgians.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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