Why are people taller today than in the past?

Many people today are 5’.8" to 6 feet tall!!:eek::eek::eek: Yet in the past people where shorter.

Why is that?

Some doctors think food and genetics determine height.

But why do some people grow even after in the adults years.

Also in the past people had more of round face and some even box or quare face for lack of proper words.

Now there is more and more people with an oval face and cuncave face looks like.

cuncave face



oval face




What is causing all this?

we eat our vegetables

Food…and also better health in general. Our food is cleaner today than in the past. We lose fewer days to food poisoning. We have fewer colds and flus. Our allergies are treated more quickly; we have fewer injuries. (Fewer of us working on farms and in factories.)

Our lives (in the westernized democracies, and worldwide) are simply better, overall, in all ways, than they have ever been in the past, and this is reflected in our overall health and vigor.

As mentioned, better food and more regular food is one main reason for the increased heights (and unfortunately, weights) of modern humans.

It also accounts for the earlier onset of menstruation (the menarche) for young girls, who are now biologically capable of reproducing at a much younger age than previous generations.

Oh damn, I didn’t check the links provided in the OP.

It’s just a showcase of pretty girls for those who don’t want to click. Nothing whatsoever to do with his question in the OP.

Better diet is one factor. Another is a lower burden of illness.

People used to routinely suffer a half dozen or more childhood illnesses, infections used to have to run their course over a week or month or more… all of those can disrupt growth and development.

Also, reported the OP.

Asians are much shorter than white people.

But even Asians today are now starting to get taller.

Without searching out any cites, I think it is simply natural selection. People are inclined to be attracted to certain attributes in a potential partner. Height is one of those attributes. Women tend to (generally) prefer taller men, these couples mate and have kids who, upon achieving sexual maturity are drawn to these attributes as well. Mix and stir over a thousand generations, probably less, and you have a slightly taller population.

Probably all the race mixing going on is why people are getting that face.]

White people face use to be really round before.

Hu big cheekbones?

Why are black guys so much taller than black girls? Some black guys are even at 6 foot tall or even higher. Yes Black people in The US.

Mexicans are really short.

What the hell is a “cuncave face”?

The importance of diet and overall health can be seen by looking at a single time period, but two different socio-economic groups (from the same racial grouping).

For a time in 19th century England the difference between the average height of young upper class (better fed, better cared for, safer work) and lower class (not well fed, minimal health care, generally dangerous labour, or else even less fed and cared for) men got as high as ~9 inches. The upper classes weren’t too different from the overall average today, but the lower classes barely made 5’.

I think our friend is not a native English speaker.

I think you are making an unsupportable assertion based on confirmation bias.


A lot of Africans tend to be taller than white people, but white people are starting to catch up. I’m not sure what your point is. There is normal human variation in height, with some ethnic groups tending to be taller or shorter than others due to genetics, but regardless of genetics all people are affected by their environment. Someone with the genetics to be six feet tall might wind up only five feet tall due to poor nutrition or a lot of serious illness as a child.

Keep in mind, too, that up to and through WWII nearly all Asians suffered periodic famines and with their diet based very heavily on rice may have tended to poorer nutrition than people in Europe and the Americas. The Japanese started catching up height-wise in the 60’s and 70’s, other Asians as their economies and nutritional options have improved.

The same factors apply - nutrition and better childhood health - but not everyone got modern food and medicine at the same time.

I’m pretty ignorant about this stuff but this does strike me as more plausible than anything I’ve heard before to explain such a marked increase in the average in such a short time. For instance, an all grown up friend of mine had a father and a brother, both of whom grew to about 6’2". None of those old-time childhood illnesses, but my friend did have an accident about the age of five involving a broken milk bottle, a cut-up neck and a messed-up thyroid, and he didn’t grow at all for about a year till they noticed and removed the rest of the broken glass from his neck. He then resumed growth, but ended up only about 5’8".

So assuming you’re right, thanks!

Your links are to fashion photos of women; models tend to have high cheekbones and a narrow, defined jaw because they photograph well.

People have always had oval faces and they have always been considered beautiful. Look at medieval art (European or Asian).

There are still plenty of real, live, 3-D people who have round or square faces.

I assume you mean non-wealthy Mexicans you see working in labor jobs. Again…it’s a combination of genetics, health, and diet. I have a Mexican friend who’s 5’9", which is normal height for a man from the US. His children are of average height, as well.

Decades of kids finally listening to Mothers saying, “Stand UP STRAIGHT!”

I think this is a factor. Tall people seem attracted to each other, they’ll have taller children. The increasing height of the population seems a little less noticeable now. When I was kid and our parents were all from the pre-WWII generation it was expected to see kids taller quite a bit taller than their parents as a result of better nutrition. Now I notice more the very tall kids that had tall parents.

Of course we also notice tall people disproportionally because they stand out among all the average height people, that may make us sense a trend where none exists.

I don’t think it’s “better” nutrition unless that means simply “more food”. The western diet is atrocious. Certainly more food is a factor, as is natural selection. I suspect better general health care including vaccination against diseases and better management of any illnesses that occur are the most likely.