Posted by Sophie-Ha Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The average height of men and women in Korea increased by this much since 1979


Over the past 40 years, the average height of Koreans has increased by 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) for men and 5.3 cm (2.1 inches) for women. In addition, the average obesity rate of men has steadily increased, showing that about half of Korean men are obese according to BMI.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy's National Institute of Technology and Standards held the 'Size Korea Performance Presentation' on March 30th and announced the results of the '8th Korean Human Body Size Survey' containing these details.

The human body size survey for Koreans is the world's only national data project that collects and disseminates human body size and shape data of Koreans and has been conducted every five years since the first survey in 1979.

The 8th survey was conducted from a random selection of 6,839 Koreans aged 20 to 69, and a total of 430 individuals were measured, including 137 direct measurements and 293 third-party measurements.

According to the survey results, the average height of Koreans was 172.5 cm (5'8") for men and 159.6 cm (5'3") for women. Compared with the results of the first survey in 1979, men's height increased by 6.4 cm and women's height by 5.3 cm.

The leg length ratio (groin height/height), which indicates the ratio of the upper body to the lower body, increased in all age groups, meaning that the leg length has increased on average.

In addition to the height increase, there has also been a weight increase for men. In the first survey in 1979, the average body mass index (BMI) of men and women was similar at 22.1 and 22.0.

However, the average BMI of men has steadily increased over the past 40 years, rising to 24.9 in this survey, and 47.0% of the men who were measured are considered obese.

BMI, an index indicating the degree of obesity, is divided into △underweight (18.5 or less) △standard weight (18.5 to 22.9) △overweight (23 to 24.9) △mild obesity (25 to 29.9) △moderate obesity (30 or more).

Unlike men, women's average body mass index was recorded at 22.6 in this survey, maintaining the standard weight level for over 40 years.

Waist circumference, which is an indicator of abdominal obesity, also increased in all age groups for men compared to the previous survey (2015). In contrast, women showed a tendency to decrease in all age groups except for those in their twenties.

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margana8,619 pts Wednesday, March 30, 2022 1
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

From what I understand based on other readings, Koreans have adopted a bit of a Western diet (consumption of red meat and milk) which does help in height. The Western diet probably also explains why a lot are obese. Lol.

I've even heard of older entertainers in Korea mention that beef wasn't commonly eaten when they were children (I've read a similar thing in China where beef was mostly eaten during celebratory events) bc beef was expensive. I'm sure awareness of the Western diet and the growth of the Korean economy has led to the increased consumption of beef.

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Soopa_Koopa3,574 pts Wednesday, March 30, 2022 0
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I remember reading that South Koreans are actually the tallest males now (by average) in East/SE Asia, which is really fascinating because they were only around 5'4" a few decades ago (being one of the shortest Asians). Today, I think Northern Chinese people are actually much taller in average, but since they have to consider China as a whole for an average, they dropped below Koreans.

As Koreans went from literally one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the wealthiest, I think it really shows how important nutrition is to a human's development. It's even more prominent now that the trend is going from growing healthy into growing TOO big and entering obesity.

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