Demographic, Residential, and Socioeconomic Effects on the Distribution of 19th Century US White Statures
Using a source of 19th century US state prison records, this study addresses European-American stature variation. The most commonly cited sources for stature variation are diets, disease, and work effort. However, vitamin D is also vital in human statures and health. This paper demonstrates that 19th century white statures were positively associated with direct sunlight, which is the primary source of vitamin D in mammals. Stature and insolation are associated with occupations, and workers who spent more time outdoors produced more vitamin D and grew taller. White statures also decreased throughout the 19th century, and this stature diminution is observed across the stature distribution.
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