According to a recent study, South Korean women have shown a spike in height over the last 100 years, averaging a growth of an astounding 8 inches (20 centimeters) more than any other demographic in the entire world.

Now that's what you call a growth spurt. In a study published by eLife, a scientific journal for life and biomedical sciences, 18.6 million individuals from 200 countries were taken into account. By utilizing studies made in the past, scientists gathered data from individuals born between 1896 and 1996. The results showed that South Korean women grew the most, and at a distant second were men from Iran, who grew an average of 6.5 inches, or 16.5 centimeters. The tallest group of people were men from the Netherlands, who average 6 feet, or 182.5 centimeters, and the shortest are women from Guatemala, who averaged 4 feet and 6 inches, which is about 140.3 centimeters. 

While these studies are fun to read, height is an indicator of many things, most importantly of overall health, nutrition, and even overall economic development of nations. It's pretty simple; when people can afford to eat well, and get the proper nutrition, they grow. It's easy to claim genetics as the sole reason for how tall or short people are, but as the study shows, many countries have grown in smaller increments than others have. This shows that there's definitely more at play than the genes we possess. By looking at the results of this study, scientists hope to be able to improve the overall health and nutrition intake for the many developing nations around the world.

And in another 100 years, we'll see who's grown the most. But for the last 100, South Korean women are the undisputed champs.


Cinderella Man

Starring Kwon Sang Woo and Im Yoon Ah

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