Increase in men's average height

Increase in men's average heightExperts have stated that there has been a 11cm rise in the average height of men since the mid-19th century.

Data was gathered from several men from about 15 European nations.

Among men who are from Britain, the average height at age 21 rose from 167.05cm (5ft 5in) in 1871-5 to 177.37cm (5ft 10in) in 1971-5.

According to a public health expert, though height was an important indicator, it was important for the overall health to improve.

The sources that were referred to for data were military records, and surveys based on modern population from 1870s to 1980 in 15 European countries.

Due to less data based on women, only men were taken into consideration.

Genes may be commonly seen as the main determinant of height, but although they explain the difference between individuals, they would not explain the trend seen in this paper, its lead author said.

The author said, genes may be regularly seen as the principle determinant concerning height in men. Despite illustrating the distinction between people, they might not display the pattern seen in this paper.

Prof Tim Hatton of the University of Essex said, "There was no Darwinian explanation to the trend. People are surviving in the 20th Century who would not have survived in the 19th."