Friday, June 22, 2007

Rik Smits' blond hair conceals tip of iceberg

As if U.S. basketball didn’t have enough to worry about, a study this week delivered some depressing news: Americans are getting shorter. The Dutch now are the tallest nationality in the world; apparently that whole regimen of red-light districts and bicycle commuting has paid off for them.

An excerpt from the study:

The study, conducted by the University of Munich and Princeton University, found that the United States had the shortest population in the industrialized world, and the reason may have to do with the way people live.

America's first president, George Washington, stood a commanding 6-foot-2. In Washington's day, our country's residents were the tallest in the world.

"It's well known that the Americans held the title for 200 years," said University of Munich professor John Komlos. "Ever since the colonial times, the Americans were the tallest."

The research suggests that kids aren’t eating as well as they did in the halcyon days when Americans towered over the rest of the world and regular bathing was still kind of a novelty. Back in 1850, the country was much smaller but its inhabitants were much larger—a full two inches taller, actually, than the Dutch.

But now the average American male is 5-foot-10... a Mugsy Bogues compared with the average Dutch male at a staggering 6-foot-1. First the Japanese start making better cars than us, and now this.

The good news, though, is that at 6-foot-3, I’m above-average no matter where in the world I go. That’s enough for me—at least until Germany surpasses us as the No. 1 barbecue sauce producer in the world or something. Then I’m moving to Canada.


Douglas W. Jacobson, Author of Night of Flames said...

I love Unibroue/Chambly too. Not being Quebecois, is it wrong just to pronounce it'uni-brow'? Please advise.

APBrown said...

As a taller than average (6'-2") American with blond hair I am definitely ... conflicted.