Vietnam aims to heighten the average stature of men and women at the age of 18 to 168.5cm and 157.5cm respectively by the year 2030, according to a 20-year national programme approved by Prime Minister.

The programme, which costs 6 trillion VND (288.5 million USD), targets pregnant women, infants, school graders, teenagers, and men up to 18 years old, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The programme, approved in 2011, is divided into two phases, from 2011 to 2020 and the other period till 2030. Accordingly, the average height for men will be 167cm by 2020 and 168.5cm by 2030. For women, it will be 156cm and 157.5cm respectively.

The programme’s tasks are to offer a plan for adequate nutrition and health care as well as an education for physical fitness on people from 3-18 years.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Khanh Hai told local media that the expenses of the national programme will be contributed from both State budget and the community through social events.

Doctor Dam Quoc Chinh, chairman of a plan of the national programme, added that the world now has at least 46 nations working out their development programmes for physical fitness and races, including the Philippines , Indonesia , Singapore , and Malaysia .

Nutrition makes up the greatest role in ensuring the growth of a person, he said, adding that it must be well done since the pregnancy period.

Main factors affecting the height and fitness of a person include nutrition, which makes up 31 percent; heredity, 23 percent; sports, 20 percent; and the environment and social psychology, 26 percent.-VNA