At a towering 183.8 cm (just over 6 feet tall), Dutch men are widely hailed as the tallest in the world. But new data suggests that men from regions within the Balkan country of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) are even taller.
What explains the height of Herzegovinians? The team believes two primary factors are at play, but they have opposing effects.
A particular genetic profile in men is correlated with height…In the Netherlands, about 35% of men have this genetic profile, but in Herzegovina, the frequency is over 70%…But the average male Herzegovinian isn’t that tall. Why? That’s where the other factor, nutrition, comes into play. Average male height in a nation is also correlated with protein quality. Nations that consume more protein in the form of pork, dairy, eggs, and fish tend to be taller, while those that attain more protein from cereals tend to be shorter.
Together, the data suggests that Herzegovinians have the genetic potential to be more than two inches taller than the Dutch, but many currently do not achieve that potential due to nutritional choices and poverty.[Read the original study here]
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