Height variations explained
At large, the height within different populations varies on societal growth in terms of available health care, education about nutrition, and availability of foods. This explains, why the average height in developed nations is higher than other nations.
Within a given population, the height variation is primarily genetic. As a rule, the height is determined by the height of parents. Mid parental height (MPH) is defined as sum of father's and mother's height divided by two. A boy grows up to be 2 inch taller than the Mid Parental Height. A girl grows up to be 2 inch shorter than the Mid Parental mother's height.
Mid Parental Height (MPH) = ((Height of father) + (Height of Mother)) divided by 2
Male height = MPH (inches) Plus 2
Female height = MPH (inches) Minus 2
Height Growth periods
The height increases from birth to the end of puberty. However, there are three succinct spurts: infancy, between the age of six and eight, and adolescence. A proper diet and health care during these spurts can have dramatic effect on theheight.
Before puberty, the growth plates (the ends of long bones namely arms and legs) are soft and the length can be increased. During puberty, the growth plates (Epiphysis) begin to solidify. Once they are solid (Epiphysis is fused), the growth stops.
The fastest growth period starts at about age 11½ and ends near age 18.
The fastest growth period starts at about age 13½ and ends near age 20. The boys are normally taller girls because of this added two year advantage. Also, Testosterones help the bones to grow longer.
How to increase height
- Human Growth Hormones
- In 2003, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Human Growth Hormones for children with low growth hormones. This treatment is only good before growth plates are fused.
- Leg Lengthening surgery
- After the growth plates are fused, the only option available is Leg Lengthening surgery.
The diet can dramatically help increase height during spurts before growth plates are fused. The diet must be balanced with all food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, meat/beans). The emphasis should be on Calcium rich foods and foods high in proteins. The following items need special attention.
Milk Milk in United States is fortified with Vitamin D. Take Vitamin D supplement if milk is not fortified.
Green vegetables (Spinach, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Kale)
High protein items such as skinless chicken, trimmed meats
Vegetarians may chose soybean products such as Tofu or Tempeh
Exercise can help increase height specially during puberty. The exercise should involve extending body vertically, examples: swimming, basketball, volleyball
Avoid use of tobacco products (smoking, chewing tobacco).
Avoid confined environment (stale air)