Spend some time in the Netherlands and you’ll start looking up to the Dutch. Is it their tolerant attitudes? Their excellent command of the English language? Or perhaps their land reclamation skills? Simply put, most people look up to the Dutch because they’re incredibly tall. With an average male height of just over 187cm (6’1”), the Dutch are the tallest people on the planet. When one considers that this is merely the average height and that many local men are much taller than 187cm, one begins to wonder if Goliath isn’t a Dutch word. But anyone who’s seen a typical 17th-century Amsterdam building and its tiny dollhouse doors will realise that this is a more recent trend. In fact, most experts believe that great health care, a relatively even wealth distribution among citizens and a national obsession with dairy products have transformed the Dutch from vertically challenged medieval men into the giants you see now. The government has even changed its building codes to accommodate its ‘growing’ population, but this might be for naught as a recent study seems to suggest that Dutch height increases have plateaued. For now, you’ll just have to be prudent and give them a wide berth or perhaps get closer to them in the summer and use them for shade.
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