Tuesday, November 21, 2006

By the Numbers: South Koreans vs. North Koreans

To the left is a graphic taken from a Korean newspaper. It shows the height difference between an average South Korean and an average North Korean. It is amazing. In only fifty years--maybe two generations, there is a measurable difference. Also, factor in the fact that until the 1970s, the two Koreas were pretty similar in terms of economy. In fact, by many measures, the North's economy was in better shape through the early 1980s.

I think the argument can be made that it isn't necessarily the greater availability of food that is causing a height increase, but possibly just the introduction of more western foods into diet.

The small chart in bottom right quadrant of the infographic shows projections for the year 2025. South Korea is blue and North Korea is south.

Maybe there's something to the infamous statement by McDonald's Japanese President, Den Fujita back in 1971:
"the reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years...if we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white and our hair blonde."
If those words came out of the mouths of a white person he'd be labeled a racist. However, I guess its still possible for a person to be racist against themsleves. Anyone who is familiar with the Boondocks, and the character Uncle Ruckus would know.

Things are changing.

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