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China celebrates growth in wealth, power -- and height
[Image: 211011003853-china-newsletter-101121-exlarge-169.jpg]

Hong Kong (CNN)Last week, as China celebrated the 72nd anniversary of Communist Party rule with a week-long public holiday, state-run media cranked up the patriotism to hail the country's economic rise, military achievements, political clout -- and even the height of its men.

Several outlets, including nationalist tabloid the Global Times and broadcaster CCTV, ran reports about a study -- published last year in The Lancet medical journal -- that analyzed the evolution of average heights worldwide. Of the countries examined, China saw the largest male height increase -- between 1985 and 2019, the average height of 19-year-old men in China increased by nearly 3.5 inches (9 centimeters).

The trend appears consistent with what Chinese researchers have found in their own studies. According to a report released last December by the country's National Health Commission, the average height of Chinese men age 18 to 44 rose by nearly half an inch (1.27 centimeters) between 2014 and 2019.

Chinese women grew taller as well, though they didn't top the list for female growth worldwide.

The revived media coverage of the Lancet study circulated widely online last week, with the topic going viral on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform. One related hashtag for the topic was viewed more than 200 million times.

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