Too tall for heels? Wish you could stay on roller skates all day, if only for the extra few inches?
People come in all shapes and sizes, and a new study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Grand Challenges Canada presented in Manchester at the biennial EuroScience Open Forum, has something to tell us about specific trends in height.
According to the BBC, researchers from the Imperial College in London have found that Europe is dominating the world in terms of height. Dutch men and Latvian women have been found to be the tallest humans on the planet- something that doesn’t come as much of a surprise if you happen to know a Dutch man or a Latvian woman. ‘Tall’ is often an understatement and ‘towering’, as the BBC put it, is definitely a more applicable word to use as a descriptor.
Dutch men have an average height of 6ft, and Latvian women come in at 5ft 7in.
Why are these two groups so vertically blessed? Science often points to genetics, but researchers are saying that producing tall individuals must also involve other factors such as the health of pregnant mothers and the quality of their diet when compared to other groups, and factors like access to healthcare and good sanitation.
The smallest men on the planet, in contrast, are said to be found in East Timor where, on average, men total about 5ft 3in tall. The shortest women on Earth live in Guatemala where they reach about 4ft 7in.
Curiously, the study also found that, while many people yearn to be taller than they actually are, it isn’t always a good thing to be. While shorter people tend to have a greater risk of developing heart disease, taller folks can be at a greater risk for developing certain cancers such as such as colorectal cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancers.
The takeaway? For some, life is always greener on the other side of the fence, but if you can’t see over it, don’t worry. You’re not the only one…and maybe that’s a good thing.