Humans may have reached their maximum height

Average heights in high income countries have plateaued

IN THE west, humans have shot up by around 4in (10cm) in the last 150 years.

A study by Imperial College London published in 2016 found British men had grown from an average 5ft 6in in 1914 to 5ft 10in by 2014. Women grew even more, from just 5ft a century ago to an average 5ft 5in today.

This is thought to be largely due to improved nutrition and healthcare encouraging growth. That’s why average heights reduced slightly after the World Wars when food was scarce, and recovered when rationing ended.

Genes also play a part: if a child is born to tall parents, they will almost certainly grow to a similar height.

However, a review of 160 studies in 2017, in the journal Frontiers In Physiology, found that in recent years average heights in high income countries have plateaued, most likely because the human body has reached its functional limit.

© Daily Mail

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