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Anyone explain!

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ksl
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Anyone explain!

Postby ksl » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 4:49 am

Why is it that the majority of UK people are short and Americans are all taller? I know a dumb question, and I'm expecting a dumb answer.

But I do believe that UK average height is only around 5ft 8inches. I guess now that so many foreigners have citizenship, that the average height may rise, although it is not a true reading.

Although I have met really many Americans in my life, and was actually on holiday in a place called Bad Tolz in Germany by the border with the Special Forces many moons ago, I quite often relapse to the good old days, in my past, to think of our ages and times gone by,

I was just thinking of different animals one day, and the British Bulldog came to my mind, and I was thinking how appropriate the British Bulldog was to Britian!

They say that people normally chose suitable dogs, that are similar in all characteristics, how fitting it is for the UK, although I personally had a cross between a whippet and a greyhound, for racing and hunting. with jack russels to flush them out.

But I'm much more goodlooking "he thinks"! :P

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Postby Plavt » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 7:36 am

That is perhaps just the one's you have met, Sms for example is 5'7" while I am 5'8" so one American there who is not taller than a Brit. :P

Seriously though it would be interesting to know if anybody has done a comprehensive survey comparing the average height of Americans and other people in the world. I think one can be fairly certain Asians are a smaller build than some of us over fed and over weight westerners - try getting clothes that fit in Singapore. :( :oops:

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 8:12 am

Hi Plavt, nice to see you here after that site. Floating around cyberspace ? . :P

I do not meet that many british but enough to think that they seem pretty tall. Somehow 5ft 8 doesn't sound quite right. Many of those I met appear taller than that. But then again, I don't walk around with a ruler measuring every person's height. And one of the tallest female I ever met was a british lady cum american. She appears to be 6 ft 2?

Plavt wrote:That is perhaps just the one's you have met, Sms for example is 5'7" while I am 5'8" so one American there who is not taller than a Brit. :P



I did not know men exchange vital stats over the forum :shock: .

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Postby seasider » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 9:02 am

I'm a female Brit and just over 5'7". Almost all my UK boyfriends were well over 6'. British husband is 5'7" and, maybe relevant, about ten years younger than the exes.

I think the world is now a great big melting pot (big enough to take the world and all it's got :) ), and we can't stereotype nationalities so much, but IME of Europe - French and Italians tend to be shorter, Scandinavians, Dutch, German tend to be taller. Bit of a Geography thing going on there?

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Postby Splatted » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 9:56 am

Why is it that the majority of UK people are short and Americans are all taller?

It probably has something to do with migration patterns across the last few centuries.

During certain key periods you had population movements from europe to the US, be it to escape religious persecution or survive some famine.. or survive a world war..

(as an aside, I visited a coastal town in Croatia which was supposedly attacked by Vikings. I'm told that the house my friend lived in was viking-built, and yet the door frame was rather low. Any viking entering the house would have been forced to bend forward - so it was theorised probably a defensive feature of the house where the owner could more easily defend himself against a tall intruder)

Another theory I have is access to good nutrition..

Many of the younger generation Asians in Australia are just as tall as any caucasion, and some even taller. Compare them to their parents, or grandparents and you wonder what steriods they were on - their parents are tiny by comparison. I think good food makes a lot of difference.

Third theory is, sufficient sleep. Our body's growth is supposed to happen while we sleep - growth hormones get released during a key phase of the sleep cycle (so i've heard) and if over a long period deprive yourself of enough sleep, you don't develop like you're supposed to..

With this in mind, you compare the US child who most probably wakes up last minute and gets driven by parents to school, versus some kid across the world ...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 1:54 pm


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Re: Anyone explain!

Postby lost_canuck » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 2:49 pm

ksl wrote:Why is it that the majority of UK people are short and Americans are all taller? I know a dumb question, and I'm expecting a dumb answer.

But I do believe that UK average height is only around 5ft 8inches. I guess now that so many foreigners have citizenship, that the average height may rise, although it is not a true reading.

Although I have met really many Americans in my life, and was actually on holiday in a place called Bad Tolz in Germany by the border with the Special Forces many moons ago, I quite often relapse to the good old days, in my past, to think of our ages and times gone by,

I was just thinking of different animals one day, and the British Bulldog came to my mind, and I was thinking how appropriate the British Bulldog was to Britian!

They say that people normally chose suitable dogs, that are similar in all characteristics, how fitting it is for the UK, although I personally had a cross between a whippet and a greyhound, for racing and hunting. with jack russels to flush them out.

But I'm much more goodlooking "he thinks"! :P


I found that brits are generally a bit shorter than canadian men (not able to talk much about americans) but I reckon it is the steroids in the foods :wink: but there again my husband is british and 6'5" and I know a few tall brits well over 6'2" so *shrug* but then again, the really old houses in britain have tiny doors, maybe they aren't short anymore but growing 8-[

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Postby ksl » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 3:27 pm

I think one can be fairly certain Asians are a smaller build than some of us over fed and over weight westerners - try getting clothes that fit in Singapore


Hi Plavt, surprisingly, while I was in Taiwan, I noticed many school children in the Big Mac shop, that towered above me, also many in Singapore. I'm 170cm, lost 3 cm from my height some where, and gained 3 sizes on my feet ha! :D

Only explanation I can find is the older we get, we start to shrink, although a collapsed disc in the spine may have something to do with it.

The feet was a strange problem, from size 43 to 46 in 20 years, I eventually discovered that constant running is the major issue, with the arches of the feet collapsing, so those that do run, should consider better support in that area, I guess.

Yes it is kind of interesting, many tall Brits can maybe traced back genetically to the Scandinavians, although I have suspicion my bloodline is from the spanish invasion on my fathers side, although nothing solid yet!

Diet seems to have something to do with growth, what is puzzling is what foods to eat. Although my daughter is the tallest in her primary 1 class, I suspect her diet supplement of "Enfa Grow", does have positive effects.

Suprisingly this baby milk is only on prescription in UK or was the last time we tried to purchase it. It certainly looks like body building formula to me. a little late for myself though:(

splatted;Third theory is, sufficient sleep. Our body's growth is supposed to happen while we sleep - growth hormones get released during a key phase of the sleep cycle (so i've heard) and if over a long period deprive yourself of enough sleep, you don't develop like you're supposed to..

With this in mind, you compare the US child who most probably wakes up last minute and gets driven by parents to school, versus some kid across the world ...


yes I believe also there is a combination of reasons including genetics. sleep and good food, although my daughter is not a good sleeper, she only gets 7 hrs, which is a pain in the butt.

Maybe sleep is also a genetic problem, I've never been to bed early unless I have worked myself to the bone, like when crop spreading and shifting 30 to 40 ton a day of fertiliser.

Thanks for the link SMS, interesting! Plavt says you are 5ft 7", I guess you didn't get much sleep when you was younger, like myself :P

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 7:30 pm

If I were to get on the scales now I'd probably find I'm only ~5'6.5" now. My Father was 5ft6 and his father 5'5 (and off the boat from Germany after WWI) My mom only 5ft 2.5 but now only 5ft 1.

As we get older the cushioning pads between our vertebrate lose their ability to fully replenish the fluids that standing vertical tends to squeeze out of the pads during the day. The average person will measure anywhere up to 1.5 cm a day different between the time they awake and just before retiring at night. When there is no loading on the pads is when they rejuvenate. At 59 I'm definitely on the shrinkage slope now. Worst part is I'm getting shorter (damn) and heavier. Soon I'll have a new shape called 'round'. :oops:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 9:17 pm

SMS you're the same height as me. No wonder we often see eye to eye! :wink:

At 5'6" I'm tall for an Asian, feel average when I'm in the UK, and short in America. So I guess it's true that Americans are taller, just from first hand experience.

Can we discuss brain size instead of height now? Who comes out tops? :lol:

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Postby Splatted » Thu, 11 Jan 2007 9:58 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Can we discuss brain size instead of height now? Who comes out tops? :lol:


I heard that Einstein's brain was smaller in size than the average man's brain. Not sure if that's a fact or a myth.

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Postby Bafana » Fri, 12 Jan 2007 3:03 pm

5' 11 ++ - just under 6 foot and considered short in Australia in the region I come from. That said my mother and sister are 4 foot nothing and a bit lah :cool:

Good for resting my tinnes on at a fmaily BBQ - We should always appreciate our shorter brotehrs and sisters.
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Postby lost_canuck » Fri, 12 Jan 2007 4:22 pm

hmm when I went to australia in '92 I thought australian men seemed short, and as for brain size it is always women on top \:D/

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Postby Bafana » Fri, 12 Jan 2007 7:01 pm

lost_canuck wrote:it is always women on top \:D/


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Postby Loops » Sat, 13 Jan 2007 1:52 am

Can't say I've ever noticed that Brits are shorter than Americans. I certainly know many, many tall Brits, although at 5'5" I'm not one of them :D

I would say they are average size.

The thing someone mentions about Scandinavians could be true - you do seem to meet many tall Scandinavians and they did have a big part to play in the shaping of the British (lots of Viking blood there!).

I know they are not strictly speaking Scandinavians, but most Dutch people I've met seem to be quite tall (taller than me anyway, but I think I'm of French decent if that has any bearing on it......!)


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