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What was the average height of a man 100 years ago?

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January 23, 2014 11:30PM

Average height world wide or in a specific country? Worldwide the average height today is just below 5'8". It's hard to tell the overall average 100 years ago but honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if the average was around 5'5" give or take. In the US, the average height 100 years ago was about 5'6"-5'7" (that is if counting all the people in the 20-79 year age group like many studies do, although now they include 80+ year olds now since our life expectancy is also increasing) and today is 5'9.5". It is definitely connected to diet, primarily nutritionally (or malnutrition in the case of countries like Pakistan), often beef (high in particular proteins) is cited as being connected to this change in average heights. In Southeast Asia this average has increased, today's average in countries like the Philippines is around 5'4".

** The British Army fed their grenadiers (beefeaters) beef to help them grow, they presumed, in stature.

Note: stature may play more of a role in other factors which also affect survivability, which have little to do with diet, (such as warfare and disease) though diet is the over-riding factor in the past 100 years.


It should be noted: Grenadiers had to be 6 feet tall, and wore tall beaverskin hats to appear more intimidating, as they were the front line troops of the British Army. Beef is high in creatine, which is an essential ingredient to building strong muscles as well.