Scientific American asked themselves this same questions. Their answer?—nutrition. We are pampered a lot more now than we ever have been. Just as a plant produces more fruit when given much more nitrate and phosphate stimulation, we too are able to be more fruitful.
It really comes down to what our body uses to grow bigger and stronger – our diet. Our overall vitamin/mineral intake has increased largedly over the past couple of centuries, and our advances in medicine have prevented many nutrient-starving diseases. So as a whole, humans (in certain populations) have been ALLOWED to grow larger – it seems as if the humans of yestercentury were actively stunting their growth, and the average height today is more indicative of what it ‘should’ be, under more optimal conditions.
It can also be due to natural selection.
We select our mates by appearance, and other things, but mostly appearance. A lot of women like taller men.
I’m sure it is mostly due to nutrition, however I can’t decline the idea and role of natural selection.
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