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  • Americans Getting Shorter

    The other days I was thinking; if the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago resulted in a 4" decrease to our height, isn't it possible the processed food era is doing the same?

    Here is an article from 2004 that says height in the US is decreasing, while height in Europe is on the rise...

    "America has eight million people with no job, 40 million individuals with no health insurance, 35 million living below the poverty line, and a population that exists mainly on junk food. There, the rise in average height that marked its progress as a nation through the 19th and 20th centuries has stopped and has actually reversed - albeit very slightly - in recent years. Many Americans are rich and do well anatomically as a result, but there is a large underclass that is starting to drag the country down the stature charts."

    Americans shrinking as junk food takes its toll

  • #2
    When science is driven by ideloogy, insanity results. Interesting article, but he attributes the shrinkage of Americans to inequality of incomes. Thus, if our poorer had more money, they'd eat better. Shrinkage is due to insufficient health care.

    Do you believe that?

    I'd believe we're skrinking all right. But our bad nutrition is due to, exactly, the CW & SAD we're taught by our health carers, the NIH, CDC, FDA, Fed. Gov't, etc. Money available to spend on food is not an issue. Doesn't he know all our poorer have more than sufficient EBT cards.
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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    • #3
      I had a response typed out, then I read the article and found that it made every point I was going to make, except for this one:
      All the middle-aged Chinese people I know are relatively short, and some of them very short, but most of them were young during the famines of the 60's and 70's. My one really short Chinese friend says he never had enough to eat until he was 10 years old, when they started some of the farming reforms. The main reform was to make every rural family responsible for a chunk of land, and let them keep 80% of what they produced. The agricultural production went up by 700% in a year or two, as opposed to when the whole village "worked" together on the one big piece of land.

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      • #4
        Unhealthy people keep breeding and this is the result. Thankfully I was given good genes and didn't stunt my growth with diets. My father was a massive 6'6 260lb linebacker, and my mother is 5'11. I ended up somewhere in the middle at 6'3 but about 110lbs lighter than my dad.

        Also, blame soy formula and the stigma of breast feeding. Oh, and estrogen.
        Make America Great Again

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        • #5
          Anyone seen the movie Idiocracy? Where in 500 years the whole country is stupid because none of the smart people breed, but the stupid people keep pumpin' kids out? Kind of thought of that, but in this case unhealthy people.


          I think this is a possibility though. The dawn of the processed food era brought forth nutrition-void breads and cereals in mass quantities, GMO veggies and grains, infant formulas, canned baby food, factory farmed nutrition-void animal products, and an increased availablility of candies, sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

          My parents fed me Gerber, McDonald's, sodas and cereal galore. I'm not particularly short (right between my mom, 5'6" and my dad, 6'1") but I always wonder if such a diet is to blame for my excessive food allergies.
          Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

          Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
          Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
          Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
          F/23/5'9"

          26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
            All the middle-aged Chinese people I know are relatively short, and some of them very short, but most of them were young during the famines of the 60's and 70's.
            Yep, lots of examples in history that show the relationship between height and nutrition. South Koreans are taller than North Koreans. Since they were one people until recently the obvious explanation is the poor nutrition / hunger in the North.

            I hadn't thought of Americans as getting shorter until recently. But to me they seem like they are getting weaker? I wasn't alive in the 50s, but from photos/movies it seems like people were hardier, more human looking? Now there are so many guys who look like Michael Stipe, or fat and weak. There was one study that showed testosterone levels are crashing hard. That could be a big part of it, probably related to nutrition and stress.

            Damn people, eat some meat. Take a vacation. Eat some meat on vacation.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kathleen View Post
              Anyone seen the movie Idiocracy? Where in 500 years the whole country is stupid because none of the smart people breed, but the stupid people keep pumpin' kids out? Kind of thought of that, but in this case unhealthy people.
              That movie is brilliant.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                Money available to spend on food is not an issue. Doesn't he know all our poorer have more than sufficient EBT cards.
                So you really believe that the money a poor person gets on their EBT card is enough to pay for a month's worth of meat and vegetables for their family?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                  So you really believe that the money a poor person gets on their EBT card is enough to pay for a month's worth of meat and vegetables for their family?
                  When I worked at the grocery store, EBT cards purchased copious amounts of organic foods, none of which I could afford as a college student. At least the EBT cards here in WA could get you organic fruits, veggies, cheese and meats. EBT cards are just another form of food 'allowance' which does not base what you get off of price, but soley off of 'what you get.' A block of cheese could cost $12 for us regular folks using money, and we'd opt for the $6 kind of cheese instead. for EBT folk they get "a block of cheese" and they could choose whichever one they want. Price is not an issue. You can eat as well as you choose to eat.
                  Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                  Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                  Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                  Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
                  F/23/5'9"

                  26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kathleen View Post
                    When I worked at the grocery store, EBT cards purchased copious amounts of organic foods, none of which I could afford as a college student. At least the EBT cards here in WA could get you organic fruits, veggies, cheese and meats. EBT cards are just another form of food 'allowance' which does not base what you get off of price, but soley off of 'what you get.' A block of cheese could cost $12 for us regular folks using money, and we'd opt for the $6 kind of cheese instead. for EBT folk they get "a block of cheese" and they could choose whichever one they want. Price is not an issue. You can eat as well as you choose to eat.
                    That's not what I'm saying. EBT cards can buy anything that qualifies as "food". The issue is that the value of the benefit is by design intended to buy less than half the food the recipients need, and that (again, by intention) is cheap food that is high in starches. It is not intended to supply recipients with enough fresh food so they could stop sugar and grains. If people bought mostly meat and vegetables with their benefit, they would end up with a fraction of the food they would need to feed their family and run out of money before the first week of the month was over.

                    I'm not saying that people who get EBT are educated enough to choose healthy food, given the choice. They are about as food-savvy as the general public, which gets its "information" from product ads and press releases masquerading as news stories.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They do a very poor job at explaining away the massive influence a growing Hispanic population is having on this statistic. In America the average height of a Hispanic male is a full 4 inches shorter than a non-Hispanic white or black male. There's a big difference between malnourished immigrants of the 19th century coming from European nations with genes that transcribe into a tall person if given the chance, versus immigrants coming from regions predominant with genes which transcribe into a medium sized person if given the chance.
                      "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."
                      -J.Stanton

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                      • #12
                        As a 5'3" tall man of German descent, I have long wondered "what the hell".

                        M.

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                        • #13
                          Actually - EBT cards (food stamps or SNAP) are given a balance which is refilled each month and the recipient can purchase up to that dollar amount of food or food "products". So if a family of 4 received $200 for a month based on their income, it would not go far if grass-fed meat, and organic veggies and dairy where chosen. This leads to lots of pasta-roni and 2 liter soda purchasing. You would be amazed at the judgement a person on food stamps faces for buying steak. I know how to feed my family good food on a budget, but I was taught the skills to do so. WIC (Women Infants and Children) provides checks for the store with certain items listed such as cereal, eggs, peanut butter or blocks of cheese. There are specific restrictions on size, brands and everything but produce must be non-organic. For WIC, the only items with complete free choice is produce- for which one child is given $6-9 per month. I work for a community action agency that serves those in poverty in my 3 county region. My agency runs our food bank, emergency heating, emergency and transitional housing and workforce programs among others. There are so many misconceptions and judgments about these programs and those in poverty that it is really difficult for those who have a desire to be independent and learn. As with so many things, the few that abuse the programs make it awful for those using it as a stepping stone or for survival and the few who spew judgement on those in poverty perpetuate the misconceptions that keep the system broken. The vast majority of folks showing up for these services would rather be anywhere else.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                            That's not what I'm saying. EBT cards can buy anything that qualifies as "food". The issue is that the value of the benefit is by design intended to buy less than half the food the recipients need, and that (again, by intention) is cheap food that is high in starches. It is not intended to supply recipients with enough fresh food so they could stop sugar and grains. If people bought mostly meat and vegetables with their benefit, they would end up with a fraction of the food they would need to feed their family and run out of money before the first week of the month was over.

                            I'm not saying that people who get EBT are educated enough to choose healthy food, given the choice. They are about as food-savvy as the general public, which gets its "information" from product ads and press releases masquerading as news stories.
                            Please see: Electronic Benefit Transfer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                            "State agencies work with contractors to procure their own EBT systems for delivery of SNAP and other state-administered benefit programs." EBT level of benefits are determined by each state. SNAP is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Note the word "Supplemental". States choose the benefit level they want to supplement and this is determined for each receipent. Supplemental means to supplement, not to completely replace.

                            EBT benefits include both food and cash. See EXCLUSIVE: Welfare recipients using EBT cards to get cash at strip clubs, X-rated video stores and bars - NYPOST.com. The cash received by a recipient can be used for any purpose including but not limited to food. If the cash is being used for the referenced purposes (also for cruises and hotels) the recipients are clearly making the choice not to spend it on food.
                            Last edited by Cryptocode; 04-23-2013, 11:58 AM.
                            "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KimchiNinja View Post
                              The other days I was thinking; if the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago resulted in a 4" decrease to our height, isn't it possible the processed food era is doing the same?

                              Here is an article from 2004 that says height in the US is decreasing, while height in Europe is on the rise...
                              It is possible, but your story doesn't really shed any light on the issue. My guess is that the height of white Americans is consistent with that of Europeans. "Americans" are getting shorter on average only because of the waves of diminutive mestizo immigrants from Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Mestizos and Latin American Indians are just short people. Add them to Denmark in the numbers we have here and the average height of "Danes" would go down too. Unless you find a study saying whites of Northern European descent are getting shorter, there is really nothing to support what you are saying.

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