from yahoo news........ At the end of World War II, the average American male was nearly 5 foot 10, while the average Dutchman measured little more than 5 foot 7. But starting in the 1950s, the Dutch began shooting up, an average of almost an inch per decade, to the point that the average height for an adult Dutch male today is just under 6 foot 1. A new survey that measured 10,000 Dutch schoolchildren confirms their status as the world's tallest and suggests that the growth trend will keep up for at least a decade. Scandinavians and other Northern Europeans experienced similar growth spurts. So have the once-short Japanese. During the same period, Americans expanded horizontally but not vertically . The average height of the American male today is stuck at 5 feet 9 1/2 inches. U.S. women have actually lost a third of an inch and are on average slightly over 5 foot 4. "More milk products, smaller families and better hygiene--those are the main reasons why the Dutch have increased in length," Bruintjes said. "But I also think there must be something in our genetic makeup." Genetics may hold some answers to why Bruintjes, 53, is at least a head taller than his neighbors, but researchers say it doesn't shed much light on why the Dutch as a whole are so much taller than the Americans or the Italians or the Greeks.