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

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

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