How tall Bolivians became over the last 100 years

Excerpts from “Dutch men and Latvian women tallest in world according to 100-year height study” by Kate Wighton, that pertain to Bolivia, follow:

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The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and using data from most countries in the world, tracked height among young adult men and women between 1914 and 2014.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.28.24 AMThe researchers also found that some countries have stopped growing over the past 30 to 40 years, despite showing initial increases in the beginning of the century of study. The USA was one of the first high-income countries to plateau, and other countries that have seen similar patterns include the UK, Finland, and Japan. By contrast, Spain and Italy and many countries in Latin America and East Asia are still increasing in height.

Furthermore, some countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East have even seen a decline in average height over the past 30 to 40 years.

How tall we grow is strongly influenced by nutrition and environmental factors, although an individual’s genetic factors may also play a role. Children and adolescents who are better nourished and live in better environments tend to be taller, and height may even be influenced by a mother’s health and nutrition during pregnancy. It has lifelong consequences for health and even education and earnings. Some research suggests people who are taller tend to live longer, gain a better education and even earn more. However, being tall may carry some health risks, as studies have linked height to a greater risk of certain cancers including ovarian and prostate.

Professor Majid Ezzati from the School of Public Health at Imperial who led the research said: “This study gives us a picture of the health of nations over the past century, and reveals the average height of some nations may even be shrinking while others continue to grow taller. This confirms we urgently need to address children and adolescents’ environment and nutrition on a global scale, and ensure we’re giving the world’s children the best possible start in life.”

Mary De Silva, Head of Population, Environment and Health at the Wellcome Trust, who co-funded the study, said: “This is a unique analysis that shows the real power of combining a hundred years of population data sources that span the globe. The most striking finding is that despite the huge increases in height seen in some countries, there is still a considerable gap between the shortest and tallest countries. More research is needed to understand the reasons for this gap and to help devise ways of reducing the disparities in health that still persist globally.”

The research team, which included almost 800 scientists and was in collaboration with the World Health Organization, used data from a wide range of sources, including military conscription data, health and nutrition population surveys, and epidemiological studies. They used these to generate height information for 18-year-olds in 1914 (who were born in 1896) through to 18-year-olds in 2014 (who were born in 1996).

Bolivia data follows:

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For full report, please use the link below:

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_25-7-2016-18-41-53

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