While most of the American population is slowly gaining in height after a recent plateau, one group actually seems to be shrinking over the decades. Black women have lost about a half-inch on average compared to the previous generation, the exact opposite of the national trend, the Chicago Tribune reports, with a variety of socioeconomic factors seemingly behind the drop.
One big clue is that high-income black women follow the overall growth trend, suggesting that nutrition may play a factor in the poorer women’s shrinking. Compared with the national obesity rate of 62% among women, about 80% black women are overweight or obese. Black children seem to grow faster at first than white kids, likely because of higher-calorie diets.