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Medical news

Human growth, height, size: Reasons to be small

Almost everybody these days thinks that it is best to be tall, meaning much taller than the average traditional height of Asian populations, and even taller than the current average height of populations in high-income countries. It is also often believed - though people might be shy to admit this - that tall people are intrinsically superior to short people. The expressions 'look up to' and 'look down on' are significant.

(image: Wikimedia Commons)
I take a different view. All relevant things considered, I am sure that it would be better if the human species was shorter and smaller than is now the case in most countries. Over 35 years of study and thought have confirmed me in this judgement. Indeed, I will go further and say that given dwindling non-renewable resources, yet a rapidly increasing global population, a smaller human race is essential for the welfare and perhaps even the continued survival of our species.

In this commentary I will sometimes refer to specific people. No general theory can be upheld on the basis of individual evidence - this should go without saying. I do this partly because of the obnoxious prejudice against small people, a phenomenon mostly of the last half-century or so, reinforced by what I see as short-sighted views of nutrition scientists. The result has been to overlook and even degrade the eminence and achievements of people who happen to be relatively short.

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