Originally Posted by Seamus
Yes, there is no agreement one this point. Here is another article...
or read the precis to this work.
It seems the US has stagnated at best in growth and fallen behind in regards to European countries. Perhaps we should wonder how tall Marciano would have been were he born in the Netherlands? How tall would Wlad have been were he born in the Netherlands.
I think at this point we begin to realize how silly this question is. The Marciano who reigned was stout sub-6 footer with T-Rex like arms and the reach of a decent lightweight. I boldly propose he does not do well against modern super heavyweight, especially those very skilled, and perhaps even those of lesser skill.
Of the two issues, the more interesting
1---Americans heights are declining--neither of these articles prove that or even address it. Komlos does not list the heights of various European countries except the Netherlands. But the Dutch are tall compared to the Brits, French, Italians, Germans, or even Swedes. His conclusion about health care seems flawed and tendentious. Japanese-American women live longer than Japanese-Japanese women and in fact at a life-expectency of over 87 years are the longest lived group of such size in the world. How is this possible if the American health care system is so bad. And sure the Dutch are taller than Americans, but they are taller than the French and Germans also and the Germans at least seem a better genetic comparision than America with its huge Latin and Asian populations.
If the relative gap between Americans and the Brits, French, etc was greater in the 18th and 19th centuries, the narrowing of this gap is not because Americans are shrinking but because these countries are getting taller, but Americans are still on the average taller.
**that said, I am certain bad habits such as smoking or eating junk food does hurt growth.
***bottom line--according to the CDC, the height of the average American male has increased from 5' 8" to a bit over 5' 9.5" since 1960. This does seem like a good source.
2--"I boldly propose that he does not do well against modern super heavyweights"
Irrelevant as his world didn't include anything "modern" including modern super-heavyweights. A modern super-heavyweight should be judged on how he competes against other modern superheavyweights, not flipping back into a vanished world of decades ago.
**The best analogy I can think of is criticizing an elephant for being too small to survive in the world of dinosaurs. But why must it? An adult elephant is so big in its world that it has no serious predators,
(other than men with guns)