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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


PEREZ CASTROVIEJO, Pedro M.  and  MARTINEZ CARRION, José M.. Rural-urban gap in the nutritional status in Biscay during the industrial revolution. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.spe5, pp.47-53.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


we analyzed the rural-urban differences of the nutritional status by residence (DRU) of the Basque male population during the Industrial Revolution.


We used data from the military recruitment of 1876-1936 (cohorts born in 1856-1915). We analyzed the heights of 12,747 conscripts in six municipalities of Vizcaya. The DRUs are analyzed in three rural municipalities (Amorebieta, Dima and Bermeo = 4,612 cases) and three urban-industrial (Portugalete, San Salvador del Valle and Sestao = 8,135). In addition to the standardized height averages at the age of 21 years, we estimate a body mass index (BMI) for 1912, the only year available, compared to 1969, 1998-2000 and 2005.


the average height is among the highest in Spain. Between 1857 and 1915 cohorts went up to 168.2 cm 164.9 cm. The DRU were significant, being higher in the countryside than in the city. Rural height increased from 164.7 cm to 167.5 cm, as did urban 164.1 cm to 167.3 cm: improved 2.8 and 3.2 cm, respectively. The rural-urban gap in height persisted in the period with differences of up to 2 cm in the 1870s and convergence was noted at the beginning of the 1930s.


the nutritional status of the Basques during industrialization was healthier than in the rest of Spain and better in the rural world than in the urban one. The advantage of rural height in Biscay contrasts with that of the Spanish average, which presents a clear rural penalty.

Keywords : Height; Nutritional inequality; Basque Country; Biscay; Rural-urban gap; Body mass index (BMI).

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