If you have never been to Thailand, well for one, you are missing out. Secondly you may not notice that the average Thailand resident is tiny. To put it into perspective the average American comes in at 87kg (average height – 176cm), while the average Thai comes in at 62 kg (average height – 167cm) – Source 1, Source 2, Source 3
When I first came here I felt quite big. Now compared to a lot of the rest of the world I am quite average. I stand 184 centimeters and weigh around 91 kilos. Here, I feel really big. When I’m walking down the street I tower over people. While a lot of the locals may look at me because of the color of my skin, they probably take a second look because I’m the tallest bloke they have probably seen in a week.
And the Thailand girls are even smaller! There are several reasons for this. No they are not all using diet drugs! Here are some of the reasons proposed by the experts…
Some countries have grown, while others haven’t. In the last 200 years Swedish people have increased in height by over 10 centimeters. In the same time Asian countries haven’t changed greatly. There is no proven reason why this is, but the world is an unusual place.
While Thailand has increased it’s junk food quota several fold in the last 10 years the diet is still traditionally healthy. Most families (particularly in the rural areas) have small rice based dishes for most of their meals. The calories in these is only a small percentage of what a typical American might have in a sit down meal.
Honestly, there are a lot of poor people here. Over 30% of the population earns less than $1 per day. With limited income they are limited in what they can eat and the quantity of it. When you aren’t eating much (particularly when you are young), your body will respond by not growing as quick.
So if you come to Thailand, expect to be amongst the biggest here. It does make shopping more difficult (particularly for woman), but there are ways around the shopping problem here.