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Why are the Dutch so tall?
March 7, 2011 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Why are the Dutch so tall?
posted by Meatbomb (24 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This topic could use better (non-spammy) sources if you want to elevate the discussion. -- vacapinta



 
Wealth/Equality/Health are probably the dominant factors but very low levels of immigration is something that people always seem to leave out.
posted by srboisvert at 4:40 AM on March 7, 2011


There is a widely excepted evolutionary idea that each generation is fitter and taller than the last.

Good ol' content farms.
posted by DU at 4:40 AM on March 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, it's all that dairy combined with democracy? WTF

I'd imagine there is more connection to the speculation as to why they are so blond.

There are many rivers to cross on your way to Holland, and people on the south side of the rivers are less blond than the north side, since the north side is protected from dilution. And also, it may be that tall people are just better at fording water barriers.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:42 AM on March 7, 2011


The Dutch are tall because the Netherlands has a loose marijuana policy which makes everybody there high.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:46 AM on March 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


Genetics and diet sounds right to me.

As a 6'4" pale white guy with blue eyes, it's always interesting walking around Amsterdam and seeing so many doppelgangers or people who could be close relatives. It's a very, very noticeable difference from other cities for me to be able to just blend somewhere like that.

It's also amusing for Dutch people to be shocked when I don't speak Dutch and they figure out that I'm not local. Sorry folks!
posted by empyrean at 4:47 AM on March 7, 2011


Me thinks one of the articles linked is a badly disguised summary of a New Yorker piece from 2004, called 'The Height Gap'. Content farm indeed.

And I think the right question should indeed be: how come Americans are getting smaller, on average.
posted by ijsbrand at 4:49 AM on March 7, 2011


Genetics and diet sounds right to me.

Danish cuisine. I don't care how tall it could make me... it's not worth it.Really, Danish cuisine???
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:53 AM on March 7, 2011


Is this FPP worthy?
posted by infini at 4:54 AM on March 7, 2011


Here is Al Jazeera's take on the topic.
posted by knapah at 4:55 AM on March 7, 2011


I believe it's due to their height.

Also - Danish food? wtf?
posted by kcds at 4:55 AM on March 7, 2011


Really, Danish cuisine???
posted by twoleftfeet


But they have mashed potatoes mixed with spinach, and mashed potatoes mixed with ... other things.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:55 AM on March 7, 2011


Suite 101 articles on Metafilter? *despair*
posted by Summer at 4:56 AM on March 7, 2011


Is this FPP worthy?

Might have been with better links...
posted by knapah at 4:58 AM on March 7, 2011


When the country is built mostly of reclaimed seabed, there are occasional floods. Simply put, the shorter people are unable to keep their nostrils above water and pass on their genes: it is pure evolution in action. I predict in a few million years we will see the nostrils of the Dutch migrate to the tops of their heads, very much like those dinosaurs whose names I cannot recall at 8:00 AM.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:58 AM on March 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


There was a decent New Yorker article about this a while back. What is most interesting about the dutch is that 100 years ago they were the shortest people in Europe, and now they are some of the tallest people in the world.
posted by Nothing at 4:59 AM on March 7, 2011


What I found most interesting was the link between a person's height and their mother's health and nutrition when she was an adolescent.
posted by Nothing at 5:01 AM on March 7, 2011


ricochet biscuit: "I predict in a few million years we will see the nostrils of the Dutch migrate to the tops of their heads ..."

Great, then we'll drown when it rains.
posted by bwg at 5:05 AM on March 7, 2011


I'm of Dutch descent, and stand 6'2". My older brother is taller. I have a cousin in the Netherlands at 6'10".

We are a tall bunch indeed.
posted by bwg at 5:06 AM on March 7, 2011


Danish cuisine. I don't care how tall it could make me... it's not worth it.Really, Danish cuisine???

Name of country: Adjective – Its capital –What you know about it:

Netherlands: Dutch – Amsterdam – Windmills, weed, prostitution, tulips, guy with finger in dike.

Denmark: Danish – Copenhagen – Nothing.
posted by mahershalal at 5:09 AM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Danish sounds like someone is speaking Swedish while carefully trying not to chew the turd in their mouth.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:13 AM on March 7, 2011


Wealth/Equality/Health are probably the dominant factors but very low levels of immigration is something that people always seem to leave out.

Probably because it doesn't apply to a country that accepted immigrants very liberally from the 1600s until the late 1990s?

Dutch born ethnic Moroccans and Turks tend to tower over their foreign born parents in a faintly comical fashion.

Also, as a 100% pure Dutchman with a diminutive height of 176 cm I feel I am owed some kind of refund.
posted by atrazine at 5:13 AM on March 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I went to school in the Middle East with Indians and Arabs and I didn't even realise that I was short until adulthood!
posted by atrazine at 5:14 AM on March 7, 2011


Copenhagen - Smiling, beautiful women - on bicycles. You won't know untik you've been.
posted by flippant at 5:15 AM on March 7, 2011


I think it has something to do with pining for the fjords.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:18 AM on March 7, 2011


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