A recent study calculating average height of 1,500 people aged six and above in four districts of Hanoi since 2010 finds that local adults averaged 166 cm for men and 155 cm for women.
Another study in 30 districts and towns last year showed similar results with the average height of 12th grade boys 166 cm and 12th grade girls 156 cm.
The figure is higher than the national average but lower than their peers in more developed countries in the region.
Experience learned from developed countries suggests that to improve average height, attention must be paid to nutrition and exercise from an early age.
Experts said that the first 2-3 years of life are a crucial time for height development in children. As a healthy mother will give birth to a healthy baby, more care should be provided to pregnant women.
Furthermore, unlike developed nations, Vietnam has paid little attention to physical exercise at kindergartens and primary schools, many of which lack sports ground or swimming pool.
The municipal Department of Health is formulating a plan to develop the physical strength and height of Hanoians to 2020 with a vision to 2030, aiming to raise local average heights to regional averages in the next 10-15 years.
The average height of Japanese people was close to Vietnamese’s before 1950 and increased by 10 cm in the following 20-30 years. Meanwhile, a study in 2010 indicated that the average height of Vietnamese only grown 4 cm after 35 years.
In 2015, Vietnamese men were 164.4 cm tall in average and women, 153.4 cm, 15.4 cm and 10.3 cm shorter than the global averages, respectively.