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Poor diet and nutrition may be behind average height gap of 20cm between tallest and shortest children in different countries. Researchers from Imperial College London conducted global analysis of Body Mass Index (BMI) of schoolchildren and adolescents around world. This involved measuring height and weight of millions of children and teenagers. They discovered that world's tallest 19-year-olds, at 183.8cm, lived in Netherlands, while shortest, at 160.1cm, lived in East Timor. The researchers said teenagers in northwest and central Europe were tallest in the world. On average the shortest children lived in South and South-East Asia, Latin America and East Africa.

study was extremely comprehensive. It involved analysing data from 65 million children aged five to 19 years old in 193 countries. researchers reported that children's height and weight varied enormously in different regions. team warned that lack of quality food and nutrition was major factor behind stunted growth and rise in childhood obesity. It said improved diets increased average height of children in China. Nineteen-year-old boys there were 8cm taller in 2019 than in 1985. Researchers attribute this to improved nutrition. lead author of report urged countries to adopt policies that encouraged healthier eating, but to be aware of perils of excessive weight gain.

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