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Nutrición Hospitalaria

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


PUCHE, Javier; AYUDA, María Isabel  and  MARTINEZ CARRION, José M.. Height and nutritional inequality in rural Mediterranean Spain, 1840-1965: irrigated versus dryland agriculture. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.spe5, pp.63-68.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


since the 2000s the nutritional status of Spanish rural populations has been studied by anthropometric history. But despite this undoubted progress, we hardly have comparative studies on the height and biological inequality between agrarian zones of different productive specialization (irrigated and dryland agriculture).


to analyse the nutritional inequality in agrarian zones of different productive specialization in Mediterranean Spain (irrigated and dryland agriculture) during the process of modernization.


we use height data of 146,041 conscripts called for recruitment in ten municipalities (72,557 in irrigated areas and 73,514 in dryland areas). We estimate average height, coefficients of variation and percentiles according to agrarian specialization.


between the cohorts of 1840 and 1965 the nutritional status improved. The average height grew 9.1 cm. The conscripts measured in the irrigated areas were higher than the conscripts measured in the dryland areas (differences of 1.8 cm). At the end of the study period, the average height growth was greater in the irrigated ones. The analysis of coefficients of variation (CV) and percentiles show, however, that the nutritional inequality was greater in dryland areas.


there are significant differences in the average height according to patterns of agrarian specialization in Mediterranean Spain and a clear relative advantage in irrigated areas versus dryland. Various explanatory factors that could be future research lines are discussed.

Keywords : Body height; Nutritional inequalities; Irrigated agriculture; Dryland agriculture; Rural Mediterranean Spain; 1840-1965.

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