"In order to fill [the] gap in our knowledge of the biological standard of living in France (...), a sample of 38,700 observations was extracted from archival military documents from the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. These are the earliest written records on human physical stature hitherto analyzed. Information available on the soldiers include age, date on which the military registers were started, date of enlistment, height, locality of the soldier’s birth."
(From John Komlos, Michel Hau and Nicolas Bourginat: An Anthropometric History of Early-Modern France. Munich Discussion Paper No. 2003-10, Department of Economics University of Munich, Volkswirtschaftliche Fakultät Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
As it appears, there was a significant gap in the height of soldiers coming from humble social classes and from upper classes (defined as military officers, cavaliers, chevaliers, and gentilhommes). The difference is in milimeters.
Equally striking is the dependence of stature on wheat prices from 1697 to 1705. If you had the bad luck to have been born in the years of expensive wheat, you would have suffered from hunger in your childhood with lifelong consequences on your physical and perhaps also mental health.
That said, France has the best score in obesity among European countries. The Maltese and the British are the fattest nations with Czechs, Greeks, and Slovenians closely behind. The French cuisine has its merits!