How humans have changed in height in the last 100 years

This map shows the distribution of the world's height, according to research published in eLife.

Story highlights

  • Human height has changed unevenly through last century, research finds
  • Simple height measurement can indicate several things about human health

(CNN)On average, we're taller than our predecessors thanks to better nutrition and health, according to new research released Tuesday .

But those gains vary vastly by country.
    "Over the past century adult height has changed substantially and unevenly in the world's countries, according to research published in the journal eLife.
    Authors found that people from central and southern Europe, as well as East Asia, grew taller in the last 100 years. Meanwhile there was little gain in height for people from sub-Saharan African and South Asian nations. A few countries experienced decreases in their average adult height after years of gain.
    Researchers found that Dutch men, at 182.5 centimeters (about 6 feet), and Latvian women, at 170 centimeters (5 feet 7 inches), are the tallest in the world .
    Men from Timor-Leste, at 160 centimeters (5 feet 3 inches), and Guatemalan women, at 149 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches), are considered the shortest.
    The Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), which is a network of health scientists that works closely with the Wor