Height of China’s Growth Story
A recent report in the medical journal Lancet says Chinese people have been gaining height in the past 30 years. The report says the average height of 19-year-old Chinese males is 175.7 cm, making them the fifth tallest in Asia and the tallest in East Asia; the average height of Chinese females is 163.5 cm, the tallest in the region.
More importantly, from 1985 to 2019, the average height of Chinese males saw the biggest rise among all the 200 countries and regions surveyed, while that of women ranked third.
In every aspect, the Chinese people’s height has risen tremendously in the past four decades. During the same period, China’s economy prospered and the average Chinese person’s income rose.
It is increasingly improving nutrition standards because of constantly rising incomes that has led to this rise in height. The Lancet report offers no analysis, but it is widely believed that milk, with its good calcium content, boosts bone growth, promoting height.
In 1978, the nationwide milk production was just 883,000 metric tons, and its consumption a luxury for many. In 2018, nationwide milk production rose to 30.75 million tons and consumption of milk, eggs, meat, fresh vegetables and seafood have all gone up, becoming ingredients in Chinese people’s height growth story.