Nineteenth Century Black and White US Statures: The Primary Sources of Vitamin D and their Relationship with Height
Vitamin D is vital in all vertebrates because it allows them to absorb more calcium from their diets, contributing to stronger skeletal systems and stature growth. Using a new source of 19th century US state prison records, this study contrasts the statures of comparable African-Americans and whites by the primary sources of vitamin D production: time exposed to solar radiation, skin pigmentation, and nativity. Greater insolation (vitamin D production) is documented here to be associated with taller black and white statures, and a considerable share of the stature differential by socioeconomic status was related to insolation.
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