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Why are the Dutch so tall? BBC News

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The Dutch are, on average, the world's tallest people, but it hasn't always been that way. So what happened? Scientists believe a number of factors are responsible, such as genetics, better diet and medical care. But now there's another theory. Research from the London School of Tropical Medicine suggests that natural selection may also have something to do with it. Jane O'Brien went to the Netherlands to find out more. Subscribe to BBC News HERE http://bit.ly/1rbfUog Check out our website: http://www.bbc.com/news Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bbcworldnews Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bbcworld Instagram: http://instagram.com/bbcnews
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Text Comments (3836)
Khusugt en (1 day ago)
They are tall but skinny and weak.
rascunho do capeta (1 day ago)
I 'am 1.78 tall in height and I weighs 46 kilos in weight:I me feels tall and in good shape:for my height and for my weight:and I would be a tall man e attractive man there for my height and my weight?
Fat Tony (2 days ago)
This only applies to indigenous Dutch not Dutch from immigrant backgrounds. Turkish-Dutch and Asian-Dutch in general are often short.
P247 (2 days ago)
1,96 is more like 6'5'' lol
Jonas Juarez (3 days ago)
I'm 6'1and that is the average height there. Fuck me I'm a giant in my country (Philippines)
Popikaify (6 days ago)
Balkan people seemed taller to me when i was there.But dutch are tall indeed
Victoria Kabeya (7 days ago)
Its the weed
Demongar (8 days ago)
Why are Europeans so tall
kolbpilot (11 days ago)
The best explanation I've read is the Dutch feed their children quality food from day one, certainly not hurting growth, while Americans are shrinking, due to their last fifty years of junk food. I thank my lucky stars I was born to a Dutch mother who knew a thing or two about quality food when I was growing up, which she learned from her mother, my Oma.
Abdisalam Farah (11 days ago)
I think dairy is a big contributor to the hight. Countries where people are vegetarians tend to be smaller than people who consume dairy. I lived many different countries included in the Netherlands. I am originally from Somalia, so earlier Somali generations where very big because they were nomads who lived on dairy and meat; while my generation are smaller due to the new diet we consume. What is very common in the Netherlands is also physical activity such as cycling and swimming, so combination of physical activities and dairy is the reason I think.
Ascended Weeb (12 days ago)
Who here is 6 foot
rascunho do capeta (1 day ago)
I am 1.78 in height and I weighs 46 kilos in weight:
Himself Lee (12 days ago)
What happened in our family then. Diary farmers, lots of calcium, plenty of calcium and fresh air. We are all short and squat. Genetics has to have something to do with it.
Prajwal Gautam sci (15 days ago)
I am 5 10 i wear 44 size shoes 0:14
HollyNihon (16 days ago)
They have been using growth hormones in dairy products and meet for the last 60 years or more. The are despicable cheaters.
tigercap100 (17 days ago)
I'm 6'1" in a big dutch family. I'm short in comparison. Dutch are most evolved
*put name here * (17 days ago)
I am Dutch and i was wonderig if we are really that tall. Now i have my answer
Mars Kriegsgott (20 days ago)
are they jealous about that ? i don't wanna so tall
crazybird (20 days ago)
186 162 Lol what how
B3YOND (21 days ago)
I’m asian and I’m 6’4....
Pablo Ojeda (24 days ago)
Kill md
Hulagu Mongke (26 days ago)
Dutch grew sideway as well as up. They can block any street in Bali and cause tsunami when jumping. =)
Hendrik van de Wallen (28 days ago)
Because we have good nutrition medicines the best water and many more great things here
Kawaii Desu (1 month ago)
Tall people are freaks of nature. They look like aliens and not humans.
Fire Nation Files (1 month ago)
Well, I do not eat much cheese...
Ali Sameer (1 month ago)
I am 14 and 6.3. I am Pakistani
Random guy Facts (19 days ago)
Ali Sameer my dream height, im just 6 1 :( ,
I am the last unicorn (1 month ago)
I'm gonna be tall
Christine in Nornia (1 month ago)
It’s difficult to be either too small or too tall, to have either tiny or big feet.
letlet (1 month ago)
*I belong there*
Alida Hall (1 month ago)
My grandpas dad was born in holland but was adopted by a German couple my great great grandparents lol
El_chicken92 (1 month ago)
5’11 14 yo french boy
Tassadar En Taro (1 month ago)
Descendant of pirate(viking, babarian,,) take&stoll everything from good&mild european in that ages,,,
Fbebrbrb Bebrbebr (1 month ago)
When i was in Dutchs airport waiting for my plane to Denmark and i’m not that tall so when i Saw the people in the airport i felt like a Ant 😅
Lui Chen (12 days ago)
@ Fbebrbrb Bebrbebr...But not al dutch people are tall...many of tall people in holland where also non-dutch background
Niklas Vilhelm (1 month ago)
I'm 13 and 6'1 😃
Shark Guard (1 month ago)
How abiut their cocks? Are they tall too?
Korina Anders (1 month ago)
Um okay I'll be moving there soon in the near future. No one wants a 5'10 Mexican girl here in the US so I got a good chance finding love over there lmaoo.
Visionery1 (1 month ago)
Simple answer: they constantly have to peer over the dykes to check how full they are. :)
Abdullah Matasief (1 month ago)
The white devils always claiming shit, just check out nilotic tribes in africa .
Blazing Firestorm Dev (1 month ago)
Because white is superior.
SID Hunter (24 days ago)
Blazing Firestorm Dev go to Africa. And I think African people are very tall % White superior my ass. They just rich about this recently 1000 year that they were evil killed people
Adamz princes (1 month ago)
I live in Dutch country and I was asking my self that question thanks for telling me
C V Narasimha Murthy (1 month ago)
I think the growth of our body depends on the atmosphere
C V Narasimha Murthy (1 month ago)
You live in
Jillimy Jilikers (2 months ago)
Yes they're very tall,probably as a country,the tallest. Come to Dalmatia,Montenegro,Herzegovina and areas inhibited by migrants from these areas, and they're taller still. They could be grouped as one people but obviously that wouldn't be a popular opinion
Aaron Dawes (2 months ago)
I'm 15 and 6'1
Daniel Lewis (2 months ago)
Tallest woman I've ever fucked was 6 foot 4 inches.. she was from Belgium
rosely covali (2 months ago)
They are beautiful and big boned.
SID Hunter (24 days ago)
rosely covali 👽
käizer Richthofën (2 months ago)
At least I'm 6'8"
edd smokalot (2 months ago)
Actually theres another myth that dutch women are even taller than their men...statistically this might be true
Maroon 5 Payphone (2 months ago)
For me, the Dutch didn't seem so tall. Very exaggerated the height at them. Indeed, there are many between 1,90 and 2,00, but I am totally sure that most males are between 1,75 and 1,85. The countries around the Dinaric Mountains are indeed tall, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina where the average for a teenager boy is 1,82. Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro also held the records for the biggest number of people above 2,00m.
Maroon 5 Payphone (2 months ago)
Julius Civilis Even so, the difference is not so big. Just think of how small the Netherlands are. If it was a country like Russia, yes, the differences are obvious between such distances.
Julius Civilis (2 months ago)
Maroon 5 Payphone Yes for Limburg Brabant and Gelderland is it true most people here are around 180, but THE North is way taller.
Maroon 5 Payphone (2 months ago)
Julius Civilis All provinces excluding Zeeland and South Holland. Now you will begin with the explanation that the not so tall ones are mixed, but no, I am talking about native Dutch people. Being a quite rich country, they can create a fake trademark from the tallness.
Julius Civilis (2 months ago)
Maroon 5 Payphone Which place in THE Netherlands did you visit?
Ronny De Man (2 months ago)
They are taller because most of the land is a bit below sealevel ... and they want to be as tall as everyone else ..
Willy Roundy (2 months ago)
I’m a small boi and I’m like 80% dutch
Roy Criddle (2 months ago)
Haha look at all these freakishly tall people denying how weird they look and claiming they're better than average height people! These people are pathetic. I'd rather be average than a freak any day of the week
Koen Berkvens (2 months ago)
Roy Criddle Noone is claiming that they are better than "Normal height" people. Also, saying that their height is not normal is extremely ignorant. We, the Dutch, find this height to be as normal as it could be. Maybe it's not normal from your "American" (Assuming you're American, excuse me if I get it wrong), but try to consider that norms and values differ in each country.
Michael Smith (2 months ago)
205cm = 6ft8 !!! You idiots from BBC cant even get the measurements right. Shame on you
Daan Vleesenbeek (2 months ago)
I am dutch aswell i am 1.75 meter and i am 14 Year old and i am gonna be 1.90 meter
Craig Tilley (2 months ago)
I was in an airport the other day and there was a big Dutch congregation there (I know because they were wearing Dutch sport uniforms) and the men were so tall! I'm 5'11" and some of the men were almost half my size! Crazy!
ShadowLoli R00mia (2 months ago)
Why are the Nilotic ( South Sudanese)People from South Sudan tall too
freecellboo (2 months ago)
Hello, I know I don’t know but please let me share my story with you: https://www.gofundme.com/double-jaw-surgery-donations I’m sorry to bother you like this but this is the only way I can improve my life. Anything is greatly appreciated, even a single pound or a share of the link with your friends and family. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
Tub Guy (2 months ago)
I hate being a short man. We are subhumans in the eyes of woman.
Abhijeet Roshan (2 months ago)
I am fifteen years old reach 6 feet 1 inch tall
OBION Versace (2 months ago)
Still can’t fight tho
Rθηιη (2 months ago)
It might be true the dairy theory cuz im from southern iraq (Mesopotamia) and we eat alot of dairy products im 19yrs 193cm still growing in hight even taller than my father and my mother is 165cm
imtiaz ali (2 months ago)
Intelligency will be decreased by tallness
Laras Tale (2 months ago)
Maybe something they brought from Indonesia made them like that.the legend spice island.
Logan Stroganoff (2 months ago)
There's only 2 things in this world I hate: people who are intolerant of other cultures,and the dutch.
wisnu yogapraditya (2 months ago)
So they don't get drowned?
Yetnesh Dubey (2 months ago)
Cries in 5 8"
Loris Lewandoski (2 months ago)
Im 6"4 n i need number 45 shoe. I weigh 81kilo
Wouter Dehaut (1 month ago)
Only 45?I wear 48 as belgian ;)
tiger runner (2 months ago)
Yeah we are tall Im 13 and im 5'10 Im just average kid on my school all other boys in the netherlands are averahe 5'9
Nancy Stengel (2 months ago)
smaller genetic pool
Shyam N Panigrahi (2 months ago)
Tall people die earlier than short people on average, due to host of diseases that has a strong correlation with height, for example cancer. So sometimes I don't mind being the 5'5" guy that everyone laughs at, because I'm the one who's going to have the last laugh, quite literally, at their funerals.
Brian Abisdid (2 months ago)
Surprised that they don't produce any basketball players.
MisS sAnDhU (2 months ago)
what if a tall 6'7 Dutch marry a Chinese 5'0 😁
YummYakitori (2 months ago)
MisS sAnDhU Lol Chinese people are not even that short. Throughout history the Chinese actually referred to the Japanese as “倭” (Wo/Wa), which means “dwarf”, and there are very big variations in height amongst Chinese people, depending on which region of China they come from. Generally people from the province of Shandong (山東省) are known to be the tallest, followed by people from the three northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang (黑龍江), Jilin (吉林) and Liaoning (遼寧), because most Chinese people from these three provinces can also trace their ancestry back to Shandong.
Charles Cxgo (2 months ago)
If you been to big cities in northern China, the people there are almost as tall as the Dutch., it’s shocking, there’s many 6’ Chinese women there
T E A (2 months ago)
I searched this up because I heard the Netherlands (there are lots of y’all people there...) but I do live here except I wasn’t born here I stayed are Iraq and Syria for 4 years I’m middle Eastern but I do live here most of my family memebers are 4,11 or 5 maybe 5,6 or something like that but I feel huge because I’m 13 and 5,4 I want to be shorter and I’m talking bout it and I am getting 1/2 inches shorter.
rosh 9 (2 months ago)
So a normal king sized bed elsewhere is only useful for the dutch midgets....
Ali 1995 (2 months ago)
that's remind me real historical story, 860 years ago when crusaders occupied Palestine many of them captured by #Saladin army, and Saladin accepted prisoner exchange with crusaders, but Dutch prisoner Saladin command his soldiers to kill all of thim, because they were big bodies and they kill many Muslims
Deneb ien (2 months ago)
I'm 5'3 and my feet is 43 UK size lol
fuck, as a 6 foot asian, i feel short
Donkey Kong (2 months ago)
Gigantism is a condition characterized by excessive growth and height significantly above average. In humans, this condition is caused by over-production of growth hormone
KarthikSoun (2 months ago)
stupid...annoying and cave man like.. try to grow larger at heart that's what we need as a species.. not more bigger people to eat away the planet faster.
I am Cheesus (2 months ago)
166 cm 14 year-old girl I feel like a midget next to my female classmates who are 170 or taller. I wish I was at least 175 ;(
OOF ROBLOX (2 months ago)
My uncle is 7.3
Samson Delilah (2 months ago)
the short dutch is probably mixed dutch ,,,not pure dutch
Saif Malik (2 months ago)
Shit i am like 5'6 or 5'7...
Xyz Sing (2 months ago)
Short people have napoleon complex
Xyz Sing (2 months ago)
I am 6 feet 2.5 inches and dutch acerage is 5feet 10 inches?
BexxyBue (2 months ago)
My bf is Dutch tho and he’s 5’6 so he’s always like eugh 😂
TheXx1nfinityxX (2 months ago)
The dream height is at least 6'2
Angelo Busato (3 months ago)
What's the shortest nation?
Lockon Stratos (3 months ago)
America is too diverse to measure, different races are different height and different genetics, there are Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, blacks, native Americans, while Europe has the same in every country
Eva Mountain (3 months ago)
Maaan the english accent
Eva Mountain (3 months ago)
No dutch accent
DD G (3 months ago)
I'm 4'11 😑
David (3 months ago)
Women over 1.85 and men over 1.90 look really bad. I don't think that's something to be proud of.
Swarnangshu Ghosh (3 months ago)
Their football team isnt so tall
Santosh Karanam (3 months ago)
Cycling explains
ironfistfreddie (3 months ago)
.....and yet they haven't produced a single great basketball player, unless you count Rik Smits as a great...
young project fillah (3 months ago)
IAM 15 6'3 and dutch
Charles Mccann (3 months ago)
I'm 6,1, Scottish and 15 yrs old
Turner Turnip (1 month ago)
Charles Mccann I was 6'1" at 13. I'm now 19 and 6'5 and a half
Andrè Bryan (3 months ago)
Tallest nation??? Yall haven't seen the Sudanese people. Dudes are tall af
Calcandi Serpentes (3 months ago)
Because we’re the master race.
TheAmazingFirehawk (3 months ago)
its because they mated with too many neanderthals
Fugazii Gaming (3 months ago)
I'm dutch however grew up in america; i'm 6'0 not too tall.
Piglet Squid (3 months ago)
I find shorter women more attractive - my descendants are destined to be pygmies 😥

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