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Vietnam Among Top 15 Countries With Lowest Average Height, Official Says

All heights are beautiful.

On October 18, in a press conference to present the progress of a national campaign to improve Vietnamese's average height, officials revealed some interesting statistics regarding the country's stature. The government program is a long-term effort (2011–2030) to improve Vietnamese physical strength and physique through means like exercise and nutrition.

According to Dam Quoc Chinh, from the project's management board, at the moment the average height of a Vietnamese man is 164.7 centimeters, and the average for a Vietnamese woman is 153.6 centimeters. Responding to some claims that surfaced in newspapers about Vietnamese being among the four shortest nationalities, Chinh said the research and statistics he studied place Vietnam among the 15 shortest nations in average height, Tuoi Tre reports. Yay?

The initiative to improve Vietnamese physical strength and physique, approved in 2011, aims to increase the average height of an 18-year-old male to 167 centimeters and an 18-year-old female to 156 centimeters by 2020. By 2030, the goal is to achieve an average height of 168.5 centimeters for young men and 157.5 centimeters for young women, the news source says.

However, due to a lack of funding, the program's progress has been slow. Since 2011, VND16.8 billion has been allocated to the project, an amount that's insufficient to spend on anything other than administrative tasks, according to Chinh.

Chinh said a proposal to extend the deadline has been sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, even though the initiative hasn't even gone through half of its planned period. Previous sources of public and private funding for the project have been used up for research and general operation.