Disparities in height and urban social stratification in the first half of the 20th century in Madrid (Spain)
journal contributionposted on 17.11.2020, 11:33 authored by C Varea, E Sánchez-García, Barry Bogin, L Ríos, B Gómez-Salinas, A López-Canorea, JM Martínez-Carrión
Adult height is the most commonly used biological indicator to evaluate material and emotional conditions in which people grew up, allowing the analysis of secular trends associated with socio-economic change as well as of social inequalities among human populations. There is a lack of studies on both aspects regarding urban populations. Our study evaluates the secular trends and the disparities in height of conscripts born between 1915 and 1953 and called-up at the age of 21 between 1936 and 1969, living in districts with low versus middle and high socio-economic conditions, in the city of Madrid, Spain. We test the hypothesis that urban spatial segregation and social stratification was associated with significant differences in height. Results show that height increased significantly during the analysed period, both among conscripts living in the middle- and upper-class districts (5.85 cm) and in the lower-class districts (6.75 cm). The positive secular trend in height among conscripts from middle- and upper-class districts was sustained throughout the period, but the trend in height among the lower class fluctuated according to social, political, and economic events. Our findings support previous research that adult height is influenced strongly by the family living conditions during infancy and by community effects acting during childhood and adolescence.
Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities (Spain), project Desigualdad y pobreza en España en el muy largo plazo. Nuevas aproximaciones desde los niveles de vida biológicos (DESPOBES) HAR2016-76814-C2-2-P (MINECO/AEI/FEDER/UE)
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences