Chinese children are 8 cm taller than 4 decades ago

Beijing: Chinese children are much taller and stronger than they were four decades ago, with the height gap standing at 8 cm, a government survey showed on Wednesday.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) surveyed 161,774 healthy children under seven-years-old from nine cities and their suburbs in 2015.

Health authorities have conducted the survey once every 10 years since 1975, Xinhua news agency reported.

Taking children aged five to five-and-half years old for example, the boys on average measure 113.6 cm, 8 cm taller than boys in 1975 and 1.7 cm taller than boys in 2005, while girls have an average height of 112.5 cm, 8.2 cm more than four decades ago and 1.8 cm more than ten years ago, according to the 2015 survey results.

They also weigh 3.7 to 3.28 kg more than children four decades ago, the survey showed.

The physical development of the children surveyed surpassed the World Health Organisation’s child growth standards, according to the NHFPC.

The weight and height gaps between urban children and rural children have also narrowed, according to the survey.

In 1975, urban boys aged four to five were on average 4 cm taller than their rural peers, but the gap was only 0.6 cm in 2015, while for girls of the same age the difference dropped from 4.3 cm to 0.4 cm.