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Friday, June 25, 2004

Increasing difference in body size between the South and the North

Professor Park Sunyoung of the Department of Anthropology at Seoul National University has presented a paper on her study of the differences in height between South and North Koreans, the northern data based on refugees in the south (through Media Daum).
The northerners in their 60s are pretty close to the respective average in the south, men 164.38 cm and women 151.77 cm (southern averages 164.10 and 151.20), but the younger the generation the bigger the southerners are compared to the northerners. For those in their early 20s, the difference is 6-7 cm: men 164.88/170.80 and women 153.97/160.60.
Park notes that the difference is going to grow even bigger for the younger generations, when the effects of the 1990s' food crisis (singnyang wigi) begins to take its toll. "If the nutrition of the North Korean children improves, there will be some increase in the height, but if the nutritional improvement takes place in the mid-teens, it's more likely to have effect on weight than height."

Any good ideas for education to prepare for the unification?

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