Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Indians growing taller, but slower

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 18: Indians are growing taller at a much slower pace
than people in European countries. According to city scientists, men in
India have turned taller by 0.50 cm and women by 0.22 cm in the last
10 years. This is in contrast to the decadal secular increase in height in
Europe by one centimetre for men and 0.70 cm for women.

A research study by the clinical division of the city-based National
Institute of Nutrition has revealed that the average height of adult men
and women in the country is 165 cm and 152 cm respectively. The NIN
team comprising Dr Raja Sriswan Mamidi, Dr Bharati Kulkarni and Dr
Abhishek Singh has gone through the anthropometric data of around
70,000 men and about 1.19 lakh women in the age group of 20 to 49
years to arrive at the finding.

Given the fact that India has made impressive progress on the
economic and health front, the average increase in height of Indians
should have been much more. "The secular increase in height has been
modest in India in spite of impressive economic growth," the scientists
noted.

An interesting finding by the NIN team was that people who consumed
milk daily had put in more height. The team also found some difference
in the height of people living in different States and linked the regional
differences to the varying quantum of milk consumed.

The scientists noted that milk consumption helped both men and
women in gaining height, though the increase in height was a littler
more in men. This shows that dietary intake also influences the overall
increase in the height of both men and women.

The NIN's is the first study on adult height and associated secular
trends in relation to socio-economic factors based on a nationally
representative sample.

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