The Dutch - tallest people in the world?

Apr 4th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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The Dutch have even changed their building regulations to cope with the extra height! Doors and ceilings in new houses have all been raised. Beds are now normally 2m 20 cm long too. At 5'6 I feel short, especially at standing only concerts where I can see nothing. My DH is 6'1"and even he feels smaal at times -our neighbours are both tall, she is 6'3 and he is 6'5.
The Frisians are the tallest of the Dutch apparently
hetismij is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Bird - interesting question - there was an article in the Guardian earlier this week (or perhaps the weekend Observer) which mentioned the fact that the Dutch are supposed to be the world's tallest people. Had not heard that before and then saw it mentioned in your post - quite a coincidence.

PalQ - BTW - the term "eskimo" is now seen by many as pejorative so probably best not to use for risk of giving offence.
wombat7 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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I didn’t know ”eskimo” was considered perjorative. What is a proper term? What might the implications be for the beloved eskimo pie?
wanderful is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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That’s pejorative, sorry.
wanderful is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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yeh sorry about that... in Canada they'd call them native people in the U.S. native Americans.

now they are not native Danes, unless you consider Greenland a part of Denmark proper but they still are not ethnic Danes and i would not call them native Americans... native people?

What would be a proper term in the Danish context.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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USNR - there's a simple reason you don't see Dutch guys in the NBA: White men can't jump. Actually there were a couple Dutch players that were drafted back in the 90's but they were out of the league pretty quickly. And Rick Smits of Eindhoven had a decent career despite being painfully slow.
Zeus is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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The Dutch are currently the tallest people in the world. A century or two ago, they were among the shortest.

The reasons why they are the tallest are unknown and are purely a matter of speculation, depending on which ax the speculator is trying to grind.

The current average for men is perhaps around six feet, although the figure varies significantly depending on the study, the source, and the ax that the researcher is trying to grind.

Overall, heights are not increasing. The heights of most people of European ancestry have been stable for decades. Earlier increases were probably just a consequence of better nutrition and health care allowing people to come closer to their genetic heights.

I think there's a tendency to notice people who are taller more than people who are shorter, which creates an impression that taller people are always becoming more numerous, when they really aren't.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Perhaps the survey of the Dutch excluded the Muslim immigrants, who of course, weren't "Dutch", and WERE immigrants.
Certainly a possibility.
As with any poll, one should always consider the questions asked, and the group polled.
For example, the exit polls in the 2004 presidential election indicated a landslide for Kerry; someone probably forgot to consider that young liberals are far more apt to disclose their vote than older conservatives, to whom privacy is more sacred. Now, no bashing here: let's keep talking about height ONLY.
tomboy is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Umh "white men can't jump" the following were apparently world record holding high jumpers and all are white i believe:

2.42 Patrik Sjöberg Sweden Stockholm June 30, 1987
2.41 Igor Paklin Soviet Union / Kyrgyzstan Kobe September 4, 1985
2.40 Rudolf Povarnitsyn Soviet Union / Ukraine Donetsk August 11, 1985
2.40 Sorin Matei Romania
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Trying to figure out why some people(s) are tall and some are short is a little like trying to come up with a reason why there are basset hounds and greyhounds or Kentucky Walkers and quarterhorses....

Some genetic traits get emphasized because two parents with the same trait generate offspring more likely to share that trait. Put those parents in an environment with a lot of others with the same trait, and you'll get a whole population like that.

OR there's always selective breeding, which we consciously do with animals and less consciously do when we chose our own "mates."

Some are taller; some are shorter. Some are chunkier; some are rangier.

Some differences are on purpose; some just happened as a quirk of time and/or place.
HKP is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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"... in Canada they'd call them native people in the U.S. native Americans."

Ummm, no.

In Canada we use the term "Inuit" for people who live above the 60th parallel. We mainly refer to native persons below the 60th as "first nations people", but "native Canadian" is fairly common.

(again) Wikipedia has a better description then I could have come with myself for the uses of Inuit/Eskimo:

In most Inuit languages, "Inuit" tends to mean "people" or "the people". The English word "Eskimo" is of uncertain origins, but most likely derives from an Algonquian language. It is widely believed to mean "eater of raw meat", although this meaning is disputed. Many Inuit consider the word Eskimo offensive, although it is still widely used outside of Canada and Greenland. In Canada and Greenland, the term "Eskimo" has been almost completely replaced by "Inuit". This is in part a result of a decision made at the 1977 Inuit Circumpolar Conference of Inuit peoples from Greenland, Canada, and Alaska, representing a circumpolar population of 150,000.

The term "Eskimo" is also used in some linguistic or ethnographic works to denote the bigger branch of Eskimo-Aleut languages (the other one being Aleut). In this usage, Inuit (together with Yupik, and maybe also Sireniki), are sub-branches of Eskimo. See details in articles Eskimo and Eskimo-Aleut languages.

And today's social studies class is over...
ShelliDawn is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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It may be a stretch to call the Dutch the world's tallest folks
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Maybe this has already been considered, but perhaps they tend to marry within their own genetic group? So, with the Dutch marrying the Dutch, the tall genes are continued and added to? Just a thought.

It's interesting to see how things play out. Being of Irish and German descent my grandparents weren't tall, but both of my parents are/were taller than the national average for their age group. When we have family get-togethers, we are all over the map, heightwise.
Tries2PakLite is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Yeah, I remember Mandinka as being Kunta Kinte's tribe. Unless they are spread over several countries? What was Manute Bol? I used to remember but don't anymore, and he is one tall Sudanese dude (although not the norm, I realize).
Poohgirl is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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One of the current theories for the tall average height of the dutch is that as a country Holland has a more equal distribution of wealth. Apparently this results in a more equal distribution of the factors (nutrition, health care, immunization) which can affect height.
This is contrasted with a country where there is unequal distribution of wealth and therefore unequal access to the factors that affect height (some tall, some short) and a lower average.
robjame is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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That's a good reason to equally pull our own weight!! We could all be equally tall!!!
TravMimi is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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I don't know about being tall as far as the women but I thought Dutch women were the prettiest (most beautiful) I have seen-- in cafes, in the park, while biking. I couldn't help staring at them!!
JoyC is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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On one of our trips to Amsterdam, my husband and I were travelling with two young guys who had just graduated college.

My husband and the one guy are of average height, the other guy is a bit shorter,... apparently too short to reach the higher-than-average placed Dutch urinals without standing on his tippy-toes.

Poor Tony took a lot of ribbing from us on that trip. But, that's when we realized how tall the Dutch really are. Peace, Robyn >-
artstuff is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:04 AM
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"Yeah, I remember Mandinka as being Kunta Kinte's tribe. Unless they are spread over several countries?"

I don´t think they can be spread so far apart. It is almost 6000 kilometres between Gambia and Sudan.

Where did you forget Montenegrians? They are taller than Dutch. My husband is 185 cm, and many women in Montenegro were taller than him. He said that it is the first place in the world where he feels that he is a dwarf.
elina is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Now I'm curious as to who are the "widest" people in the world. Any ideas?
Bird is offline  

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