I saw this article recently on the Yonhap News Agency about the average height of Koreans changing in the last century. From the end of the Joseon Dynasty to now, the average height for Korean people increased by 12cm. The article, available in mobile-phone format, attributes the increased height to improved nutrition and access to medical care.
It reminded me of a story a professor in college once told us years ago. She had travelled to Japan in the 1960’s as a student, and later in late 1990’s she travelled again. This time, she felt that Japanese were noticeably taller than they were on her last visit., and she felt this was because Japanese ate more meat and proteins than before. I don’t know if it’s true or not; it’s strictly anecdotal.
However, the heights of Europeans have also changed as well. Napoleon is usually stereotyped as being short, however his height of 1.7meters was normal at the time. Nowadays, the average height for French males is slightly taller at 1.74meters.
So it seems that in industrialized countries around the world, Western and Asian, people are getting taller thanks to better food, medicine and child care.
Just something interesting I found.