Why are Western people taller than East Asians?

It's often noticed that people from Western regions tend to be taller than those from the East. This height difference arises from various factors beyond just genetics. Westerners often inherit genes that favor taller heights. Besides genetics, the temperate climates in many Western countries create better growth conditions. Furthermore, Western diets, which usually contain more calcium and essential nutrients, also play a significant role. Therefore, the height difference between Westerners and Easterners results from a mix of genetic factors, climate, and dietary habits.

Living environment - the "key" to the height of the Westerners

The Westerners are taller than the Easterners partly because of their favorable living environment. European countries are in the temperate climatic belt (from 2oC to 22oC) so the weather is relatively cold in the winter and quite pleasant in the summer. In comparison with other climatic belts, temperate climate is not as severe as frigid climate and also not as hot as the tropical.

Why are Western people taller than East Asians?

Pleasant summer in Tuscany, Italy

This climatic belt is suitable for the development of human height. In the frigid climate, height cannot grow because people often shelter from the cold weather. On the contrary, tropical climate does not "stimulate" human height. Applying the theory of evolution and natural selection to this explanation, it shows that the European environment is completely consistent with Charles Darwin's theory.

Although the temperate climate is beneficial to height development, it only directly affects a very small part in association with the height of Westerners. The height development of the Westerners is mainly due to the indirect result of temperate climate, in particular the food of the European vegetation and animals.

The Western ancestors originated in the Northern region of the European-Asian continent (inhabiting a large area stretching over parts of territories of Russia and the North of Asia). Initially, these people lived a nomadic life. They did hunting, fishing and gathering. Their daily diets also revolved around this menu.

 Why are Western people taller than East Asians?

Breakfast of a European

Later on, this living environment caused them many difficulties due to climate change. They gathered and settled down in small communities. At that time, the first inhabitants of Europe started to grow wheat and domesticate animals (reindeer, sheep) to get milk and meat. As the result, the diets of the Western ancestors were supplemented with milk and bread besides seafood, fruits, vegetables and so on. This food source was completely consistent with the current height growth diet according to modern science.
Archaeologists reaffirmed this issue when they found skeletons of the Western' ancestors in Europe with the height of 5'7". Meanwhile, similar research conducted on the Easterners' ancestors in Asia only showed the height of 4'7".

Modern European science has contributed to the Westerners' height

Archaeology helped unravel the mystery of the Westerners' height and clarified the importance of environment and food in height development in the Western ancestors. However, in comparing the height of the inhabitants among the European countries, scientists found that there was a difference in heights among those countries although they are all inherited genes from their ancestors helping them possess their outstanding height.

Why are Western people taller than East Asians?

The Europeans have outstanding height partly because of their inherited genes.

The inhabitants of the countries from the Central to the North of Europe such as Germany, Britain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland all have much more outstanding height in comparison with the other countries in the South of Europe such as Italy, Portugal and Spain. The result of this research made the scientists suspect that there are other factors that strongly affect human height, in addition to genes.

After many studies, scientists agree that "modern science of the West" has significantly contributed to the current height of the Westerners in general and the European in particular. The modern science derived from Roman and ancient Greek natural science has helped Europe achieve its modernity and inventions in all fields of science from economics to medicine, and also nutrition and health care. These achievements made positive impacts on human life. As a result, the height is no doubt increasing

Despite being benefited from modern science, the lives and heights of the inhabitants of each European country are still varied due to their human development index. The inhabitants of the countries in Europe such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany have their outstanding heights for advanced science and developed economy. They are also the countries with the highest income in the world. Meanwhile, the countries in the South of Europe such as Italy, Spain and Portugal are in a less advantageous position. Therefore, their inhabitants have a "less outstanding" height in comparison with the countries in the North of Europe.

Regarding natural science in Asia (the foundation of modern Western science), Asian countries in general and East Asians, in particular, are even more inferior. Because of the differences in "values and beliefs" in Oriental culture (typically China and India), modern science was not originated in Asia. Previously, there was a time when ancient Asia discovered the scientific knowledge that helped them keep up with the ancient Greeks and Romans. China even was a pioneer in inventing paper, gunpowder which once stayed ahead of the West.

However, the West has still surpassed the East in natural science. Thanks to advanced science, Europe has had outstanding advantages in their living standard and surpassed Asia in many aspects, including their appearance and height.

Learning from the Westerners, the Easterners' height is steadily being improved

While Asia may not be the birthplace of modern scientific knowledge, its relentless pursuit of learning from Europe has been nothing short of remarkable. Asians, as a collective, and particularly those in the Eastern region, have diligently absorbed crucial knowledge, spanning not only economics and healthcare but also the intricacies of enhancing one's stature.

Certain Asian nations, notably Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, embarked on an early journey of embracing Western scientific advancements. This commitment to progress has yielded substantial results in terms of height development. Over the past three decades, the average height in these countries has soared from a modest 5'1" to an impressive 5'7". This remarkable transformation was achieved through a combination of nutritional supplementation, active engagement in sports, proper rest, and adherence to height-enhancing practices rooted in Western wisdom.

Conversely, other East Asian nations, lacking early access to Western height studies, find themselves with populations of shorter stature compared to their Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Singaporean counterparts. However, even in these regions, there have been noticeable improvements in height in recent decades.

With governments and individuals alike dedicating efforts to height enhancement strategies, the future holds great promise for Asian nations. They are poised to make further strides in height development, bridging the gap with their regional neighbors and even competing on a global scale with nations in America and Europe. As Asia continues to unlock the secrets of height growth, it stands poised for a taller and more prosperous future.


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