TEHRAN, Apr.7 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranians have not been getting taller over the past ten years, a subspecialist in endocrinology said here on Tuesday. Iraj Heidari blamed social and psychological problems, lack of exercises, insomnia, stress, and family problems, and mainly poor diet as the main factors in creating such problem in the country.
Putting stress on the significant role of healthy diet in the betterment of the society's physical health, he said that people's diets have changed to carbohydrates over the past years.
"People reduced protein content of the diet; they use less meat, eggs, and beans and choose mostly foods such as rice, bread, and potatoes that contain carbohydrates," Heidari said.
Carbohydrates, due to their lower prices, comprise the main foods of the people in Asian and African states, and totally half of the world countries.
He said protein consumption is major factor in getting taller, adding that developed countries use about 57 grams of protein a day, while the rate in Iran is only 22 grams per day.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Heidari called precocious puberty other major factor in stopping Iranians' height growth and declared that puberty age has decreased in the country.
Based on a research conducted on over 4,000 Tehranis, children are reaching puberty at younger and younger ages -- some girls at the age of seven.
The age also appears to have been decreasing in developed countries, Heidari added.
According to social science statistics in the Social Science Quarterly reported in 2007 and updated for discussion in 2008, Americans are falling behind Europeans. Where once Americans outstripped their European counterparts in height, the reverse is now the case.
In comparing the heights in the year 2000, as contrasted with the present, American men were at 5 feet 10 inches and women at 5 feet five inches. This discrepancy with the present may be that different groups within the demographics were studied, but suffice to say, Americans have fallen short of their standing as among the world's tallest.
The same social science publication observed that a number of Northern European countries rank the highest in height. The Dutch are ranked as the tallest at 6 feet for the men and 5-feet-7-inches for the women. America and North Korea are among the countries where people are losing height, which many say has to do with diet.
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