How does the average American male body compare to the average male from other countries? Artist Nickolay Lamm (previously at Neatorama) used the statistics from various government sources in the U.S., France, Japan, and the Netherlands to illustrate the average male body from each country. For each comparison, he quotes different sources for a bit of explanation for the differences.
The Dutch have some of the world's best healthcare, particularly at the stages of life that really make a difference for how tall we end up -- prenatal and the early years of childhood.
Second, they spread the health around. The most well-off Americans are tall, but less-privileged groups across all races bring down the average.