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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


MARTINEZ CARRION, José M.; ROMAN CERVANTES, Cándido  and  CANDELA MARTINEZ, Begoña. Among the highest in Spain. Nutritional status in the western Canary Islands: male cohorts 1860-1915. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.spe5, pp.39-46.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


we analyzed the evolution of nutritional status in the Canary Islands (province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife) during the second half of the 19th century and its scope in the Spanish context.


with data on military recruitment, we estimated the average male height at ages 19-21 years by birth cohorts for the period 1860-1915. We analyzed the Recruitment and Replacement Statistics of Spain for the beginning of the 20th century (regional data) and the Classification and Declaration of Soldiers Acts of three municipalities of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The sample consists of 15,645 conscripts of Santa Cruz de la Palma (La Palma), La Orotava and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife).


the male height reached the highest values known in Spain in the 19th century and recorded an increase of 2.86 cm between the cohorts of 1860 and 1915. The determinants of the advantage of Canarian stature are discussed. The diet, the lower incidence of diseases and favorable environmental conditions for health, due to a mild climate, could be decisive factors of the nutritional status advantage in the Canary Islands.


the average male height of the western Canary Islands is closer to the parameters of Western Europe than of the peninsular Spain. Even being relatively poor, Canarian adolescents exhibit the greatest physical wellbeing in Spain from 1860 to 1915 and a pattern of biological and nutritional well-being similar to that of the more developed and industrial Europe.

Keywords : Nutrition; Health; Height; Canary Islands; 19th century.

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