Generations since 1990, particularly among country’s poorest, are bigger
Adults in their 30s in Portugal are, on average, taller than their parents – and the largest increase has been registered in families with “unfavourable socio-economic history”.
These are the results of a study undertaken by Porto University’s Institute of Public Health (ISPOP).
Women are on average 1.46 cms taller than their mothers, and men are “more than 3cms” taller than their fathers.
The evidence has been in plain sight for decades, but this is the first study of its kind in Portugal, and it gauged factors like ‘academic education levels, professions, eating habits, access to health care, smoking etc.
The drivers have obviously been improved eating habits, improved healthcare, the reduction of infectious disease (due to improved healthcare…) etc., as height is “an indicator of a population’s health and a marker of socioeconomic inequalities”.
“This study highlights that, on the one hand and as expected, in Portugal there has been an improvement in living conditions over the last decades. On the other hand, despite the socioeconomic inequalities that still exist, the sons and daughters from less favoured families, when compared to their fathers and mothers, seem to have had more adequate access to resources that are crucial for their growth”, explains ISPUP researcher and principal author of the study Berta Valente
The results of “Socioeconomic factors and intergenerational differences in height of Portuguese adults born in 1990: results from the EPITeen cohort” have been published in the Journal of Biosocial Science.