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  • height, how important is it to track and field?

    Anyone else read the article in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago about economic anthropology ? Probably not... anyway, here is another thing for Americans to worry about: according to this article the average height of American men and women has been the same since WWII, while the average height of just about every European country has increased dramatically. Same goes for other parts of the world where diet and health care improvements have extended to most of the population. In the Netherlands, the current average height for males is 6'1" and for females 5'9" ... almost 3 inches taller than Americans in each instance!!! Does this put us at a competitive disadvantage?

  • #2
    Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

    Given the US stance on health care and diet, it probably will only get worse. We are well on our way to becoming a 3rd world country. Eventually it will filter to athletics (actually, it has).

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    • #3
      Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

      Just as somebody noted elsewhere about U.S. literacy standards being "lowered" (in terms of testing) by mass-immigration, so too is the average anthropomorphic figure being skewed I suspect. Lots of undernourished third-worlders (meant with no disrespect) being added to the mix.

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      • #4
        Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

        Are the numbers really being skewed by below national average immigrants? From http://www.geographyiq.com/countries/us ... people.htm the net migration rate for the US is 3.52/1000 population.

        I'll make a completely unsubstantiated assumption that there is probably a pretty equal replacement rate between educated/healthy USAnians leaving versus educated/healthy Canadians/Europeans/Westerners who flock to the "land of opportunity". The resulting positive net migration would be made up of those less advantaged immigrants referred to in a previous post.

        But how less advantaged would they have to be in order to have a discernable weighted impact on gross population statistics?

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        • #5
          Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

          >Given the US stance on health care and diet, it probably will only get worse.
          >We are well on our way to becoming a 3rd world country. Eventually it will
          >filter to athletics (actually, it has).

          Actually, if we're talking distance running, a lot of 3rd world countries are doing much better than the US.
          Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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          • #6
            Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

            >>I'll make a completely
            >unsubstantiated assumption that there is probably a pretty equal replacement
            >rate between educated/healthy USAnians leaving versus educated/healthy
            >Canadians/Europeans/Westerners who flock to the "land of opportunity". The
            >resulting positive net migration would be made up of those less advantaged
            >immigrants referred to in a previous post.>>

            I have no science to back up my contention and will admit that there's probably regional differences to take into account. But in my part of the USA (California) the immigration would seem to be largely southeast asian and central american and empirical evidence tells me they have become a huge part of the population and that they're markedly shorter than the people they're replacing. Suspect their children and children's children will be significantly taller but for now I've gotta say that "we" aren't getting any taller simply because of that.

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            • #7
              Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

              >>>in my part of the USA (California) the immigration would seem to be largely southeast asian and central american and empirical evidence tells me they have become a huge part of the population and that they're markedly shorter than the people they're replacing.<<<

              Are they really replacing people or are they just adding to the population? I know they're moving in, but are non-Asians and non-Central Americans moving out? If the answer is no, then the impact of the new arrivals on the overall average height is less dramatic.

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              • #8
                Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

                Anyway, height does not give an advantage in all T&F events. In some it may be a disadvantage. And it seems to be a great long distance runner you need to be undernourished, i.e. both slight in build and short.
                Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                • #9
                  Re: height, how important is it to track and field?

                  The New Yorker article mentioned that Asians and Hispanics were not factored into the calculations for the U.S., so that's not what is accounting for the difference.

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