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gruff5
615407.  Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:28 pm Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
Interestingly, after centuries of increasing average height, largely down to better nutrition and healthcare, it is now thought that the average height of American males is decreasing, and for the first time the average height of British males is greater.

That is interesting. I'm British, 6'1" and worked in Wisconsin, USA for 6 months in 1985. I feel tall in UK, I felt average or maybe even below-average height for a male in Wisconsin at that time. Something to do with their dairy-intensive diet, perhaps. Similar reason why Netherlands has such tall people.

 
gruff5
615414.  Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:40 pm Reply with quote

And:
exnihilo wrote:
this article[/url] in The Guardian.

in that article:

In fact, the very idea that various peoples are programmed, on average, to be short or tall is thrown into doubt by Komlos's work. Apart from a few rare races, such as African pygmies who are genetically programmed to have low stature, virtually everyone in the world has the potential to reach the same average height as the Dutch, and that includes the Mexicans, Chinese, Inuit, and other peoples who are not usually noted for their stature.

Which is also interesting. I visited China in 2006 and was surprised not to find the population particularly shorter than Europeans. Around the Beijing area, they seemed as tall as north Europeans, possibly taller than Mediterrean Europeans - which I had not been expecting.

This contrasts with the Japanese I've met who have been visiting UK - they have almost universally been of short stature.

 
Peregrine Arkwright
615485.  Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:25 pm Reply with quote

.

Could it simply be that if you live in a very low country you need to be tall enough to see over the dykes?

PA


.

 
Davini994
615492.  Sat Sep 19, 2009 3:52 pm Reply with quote

It's a wonderful fact. Is there any indication of the relative importance of the quality of healthcare vs diet?

 
exnihilo
615525.  Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:16 pm Reply with quote

I've not read all of the research, but certainly diet (and climate - which affects production, which affects diet) has been directly linked to stature historically.

For recent variations, the stature and health of the average Briton improved during and post-war in large part due to rationing which is part of how we began to catch up to the Americans who had long enjoyed - on average - a far better diet. It is noted in that article that a contributing factor in the decline of the American average is the diet of the underprivileged - which supports the observations Gruff made about Wisconsin.

Oddly, though, Japan claims a very similar average height to the UK (though not to the Netherlands) and, again, this is attributed to the adoption of more western diet, which has led to all manner of things having to be lengthened or raised to accommodate a generation which is far taller than its forbears. Interestingly, Japanese average height increased steadily for a long time and then decreased, only beginning to rise again recently - this is being linked to population density.

 
PDR
615666.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:17 am Reply with quote

Peregrine Arkwright wrote:
.
Could it simply be that if you live in a very low country you need to be tall enough to see over the dykes?


I would see that as more of an issue on Saphos than the Low Countries, surely?

PDR

 
suze
615681.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:12 am Reply with quote

Did you mean Lesbos ...?

 
PDR
615687.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:46 am Reply with quote

Probably - it's all greek to me...

PDR

 
gruff5
615690.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:12 am Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
... Interestingly, Japanese average height increased steadily for a long time and then decreased, only beginning to rise again recently - this is being linked to population density.

Interesting article, particularly the later parts about the changes in the shape of Japanese women |. .| ->(.)(.)

 
suze
615708.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:27 pm Reply with quote

Ooh, now that's interesting. We are told that "the women were measured in their underwear, and so the larger bust is at least in part an effect of brassieres".

So is it in fact not that Japanese women have larger breasts than hitherto, but that they wear padded bras so as to appear the same shape as Western women? And if so, why - I can't see why Japanese men would suddenly have decided that they like their women to appear bustier than they have in the past.

 
Peregrine Arkwright
615765.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:27 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Peregrine Arkwright wrote:
.
Could it simply be that if you live in a very low country you need to be tall enough to see over the dykes?


I would see that as more of an issue on Saphos than the Low Countries, surely?

PDR


It's a bit like laying bait for lobsters, isn't it?

Peregrine Arkwright

 
PDR
615804.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:01 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Ooh, now that's interesting. We are told that "the women were measured in their underwear, and so the larger bust is at least in part an effect of brassieres".

So is it in fact not that Japanese women have larger breasts than hitherto, but that they wear padded bras so as to appear the same shape as Western women? And if so, why - I can't see why Japanese men would suddenly have decided that they like their women to appear bustier than they have in the past.


Straying into slightly unsavory areas here, but a heck of a lot of japanese porn (some of it in the cartoon books and animated film)focuses on "round-eye" women who are depicted as curvatious and well-busted. There seems to be something of a represed desire for such things in the Japanese culture, and it finds its expression in this rather extreme way.

The material itself is actually quite disturbing, with a strong dominance/violence/compulsion element that is only present in the most extreme "specialist market" areas of western pornography - areas that are usually deemed illegal in the UK and USA.

I suspect you could learn quite a lot about a culture by studying its pornography preferences - in my case the japanese material came to my attention when I was working in South Australia and the wife of a colleague was studying it as part of her masters in Japanese Studies. But I've never had the courage to walk into a shop in a foreign country and buy a girly magazine - I must be a complete wus!

Just occured to me. This aspect is also a feature of the plot in Iain M Banks' rather good "Player of Games" - it comes after the revelation that one of the drone robots goes birdwatching in its spare time (which I've always tjought very funny - perhaps you had to be there).

PDR

 
exnihilo
615810.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:51 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Ooh, now that's interesting. We are told that "the women were measured in their underwear, and so the larger bust is at least in part an effect of brassieres".

So is it in fact not that Japanese women have larger breasts than hitherto, but that they wear padded bras so as to appear the same shape as Western women? And if so, why - I can't see why Japanese men would suddenly have decided that they like their women to appear bustier than they have in the past.


It's none too sudden. I remember a "pop history" class I took many, many years ago in which the tutor showed us piles of magazines from around the world and asked us what we noticed about them. What we were meant to notice was that they all carried the same "westernised" depiction of female beauty. He was making a point about globalisation, but it applies here too, there's a very considerable notion in Japan (especially) that western equals good, and American particularly, leading to a valuing of such significant things as a more western body shape and rounder eyes all the way down to simply owning American branded clothing.

 
suze
615818.  Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:21 pm Reply with quote

Thanks PDR and exnihilo. So ultimately, it's just another manifestation of the Japanese desire to mimic the USA.

Leaving aside sumo wrestlers who are a special case, is there thus also an increasing tendency to overweight among the Japanese, especially among blue collar men?

 
PDR
615864.  Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:14 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Thanks PDR and exnihilo. So ultimately, it's just another manifestation of the Japanese desire to mimic the USA.


I'm not sure, and I haven't studied the subject in enough detail to really have a worthwhile opinion of my own, but I think Ellen's work was leaning towards a conlusion that it was a form of latent (or nascent) imperialism - expressing dominant and abusive control over your national rival's women. I think she was drawing parallels to the Serbian rape-camps for Croatian/Bosnian women (and similar institutions in Rwanda and Sierra Leone).

PDR

 

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