I’ve never really understood this:
The Dutch, long renowned for being the tallest people in the world, are shrinking, according to research published on Friday.
The diminution of the famously giant populace is partly explained by the immigration of smaller people from other countries and their children being born in the Netherlands, according to the study by Statistic Netherlands.
But it is less clear why people with exclusively Dutch roots, which is defined as all parents and grandparents having been born in the country, are also not as tall as they used to be, although a worse diet could be a factor.
That the Dutch are tall I can observe just by looking out the window at the folks visiting the bars. That immigration will change the genetic part of height reached seems obvious.
The bit I never have understood is the reason oft given for why the Dutch are tall, that Hunger Winter of 1944/5. That there was considerable malnourishment is true. That this is claimed to be – part maybe – of the trigger for the height I’ve seen claimed. But I’ve never really understood the argument as to why in-utero malnourishment should lead to greater height.
Is the idea that the required greater efficiency of calorie usage to even get born carries on through life?