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Korean Face Sizes Are Becoming Smaller

Posted November. 30, 2004 22:35,   


A survey showed that the figures of Koreans in their twenties have become similar to western figures as they have become taller in height and smaller in face size.

Also, it appeared that the figure of Koreans in their twenties has changed greatly among all age groups as they have become taller and heavier in both men and women.

According to the study, “The 2004 Standard Figure Of Korean People,” which the Agency for Technology and Standards of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy released, face length of men and women has became one 1cm shorter on average, with men going from 24.6cm in 1979 to 23.6cm in 2004, and women going from 23.3cm to 22.3cm.

The average height of men and women in their twenties was over 10cm shorter compared to those of American people, but in 2004 the average height became 5.3cm and 5.5cm shorter, for men and women respectively. Compared to Italian people, men were 1.3cm shorter and women were 1.9cm shorter in average height, almost showing no difference in height.

Professor Kim Hee-jin from the department of dentistry in Yonsei University explained, “The decrease in face length can be attributed to the diet of preferring soft food such as hamburgers.” and added, “If one gets in the habit of eating food that mainly uses the front teeth when one is young, the jaw muscles which we use for chewing food may become weak and it may cause the size of the jawbone to become smaller.”

As face size becomes smaller and height taller, the life-size index (height/length of head) for Korean people became similar to an eight, which is called the most beautiful proportion.

The life-size index for men in their twenties became higher, going from 6.8 in 1979 to 7.4, and the women’s index going from 6.7 to 7.2.

Height showed the largest change among people in their twenties, and weight and waist measurements among those in their fifties.

The average height was 173.2cm for men in their twenties, which is an increase of 5.8cm from 1979, and 160.0 cm for women, which is an increase of 4.6cm.

As for weight, men in their 50s registered an average weight of 69.1kg, which is an increase of 12.4kg compared to 1979, and women registered an average weight of 60.2kg, which showed an increase of 7.1kg.

The change in waist measurements also was the biggest for those in their fifties, which was 87.5cm for men, increasing 11.6cm compared to 25 years ago, and 83.0cm for women, showing a 9.6cm increase.

The age when the foot stops growing and becomes the size of an adult was 17 for men, and 14 for women. The average foot size for people in their twenties was 254mm for men, and 232mm for women, the biggest among all age groups.

This survey was conducted on 21,000 people living nationwide in 342 cities, counties, and districts, over a period of one and a half years, from April 2003 to October 2004,

Chi-Young Shin Yong Park higgledy@donga.com parky@donga.com