It used to be that America had the healthiest people and the longest living in the world. But that's all past now. You can thank junk and processed food for that as well as a poor medical health services. Today the USA ranks a mere 49th among the world's nation for longevity!
That's pretty bad.
But recently, from going around Tokyo and seeing more and more fat people, I wonder how far behind Japan could be? Here's a report from the AP that says Japan's boys and girls are not growing...
TOKYO, Dec. 9 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The average heights of boys between five and 17 in Japan dropped or remained unchanged in all age groups in the 2010 school year from the previous year for the first time since surveys began in the education ministry said Thursday.
The heights of girls also fell or remained unchanged in all age groups except for 13 and 17, according to a preliminary report on the trend in children's physical conditions released by the Ministry of Education,Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The ministry believes that the average heights of children in Japan apparently reached their peak sometime from fiscal 1997 to fiscal after continuing to grow since the end of World War II.
Children "are unlikely to grow taller any longer," a ministry official said, noting that it has now been some time since more nutritious meals become available and living conditions improved in the postwar period.
By covering the growth of some 700,000 children at kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools across Japan from April to June this year, the ministry found that the average height fell 3 millimeters among boys aged 15 to 168.2 centimeters, and 1 mm among the ages of 7 to 12, 14 and 17.
The height of girls gained 1 mm among those aged 13 and 17, but lost 1 to 2 mm among those aged 5, 8, 10, 11, 14 and 15.
Compared with 30 years ago, the height of 13-year-old boys rose 2.8 cm to 159.7 cm, and that of 10-year-old girls was up 1.9 cm to 140.2 cm.
"The growth in height among children has remained almost unchanged for a long time and is supposed to be close to the maximum point it can reach," said Yoshiteru Muto, professor in physical education and dean in the department of education at the University of Tokyo.
Muto also pointed out, however, that the recent lifestyle of children often involves a reduction in sleeping hours and this may have affected their growth.
"Many changes in the social environment created by adults may have effects on the balance of their nutrition, exercise and sleeping, each of which supports children's growth and development," he said. "If these problems are solved, their average height might grow again somewhat."
Gee, do you think that sitting around and playing video games and eating McDonald's might have something to do with this?