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Research shows that your stature can influence everything from your risk of heart disease and cancer to your income and perceived attractiveness. Kids seem to sprout quickly — just ask any parent who has to keep buying new clothes month after month, year after year. But how exactly does growth happen? People grow at their fastest rate as babies in the first year of life, adding about 10 inches to their height from birth to age 1, after which height increases somewhat steadily and nowhere near as rapidly until adolescence, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Girls usually stop growing two to three years after they get their period, and while some boys reach their adult height in high school, others continue growing into their early twenties. Ever swear that your child has grown taller What makes people tall You may be right. In the 18th and 19th centuries, America was home to the tallest people in the world, but today that honor goes to the Netherlands.
Today, Dutch men and women average 6 feet and 5 feet 6. Why the slip in comparative stature? Just like your weight fluctuates throughout the day, your height can too.
As you sleep, your spine decompresses, and you regain the lost length. Roughly 60 to 80 percent of your height is determined by genetics, while the rest depends on environmental factors, namely childhood nutrition. Curious how tall your kids will ultimately grow? However, it does act as a stimulant and can cause irritability, sleep problems, and headaches, which is why doctors recommend that kids avoid it.
What can stunt growth: cigarettes. One study in the Annals of Epidemiology found that boys who smoked frequently between ages 12 and 17 were about an inch shorter than their non-smoking peers, although a similar effect was not seen in girls.
Most boys are still growing during this period and girls are not, which could explain the difference. The taller you are, the greater your risk of canceraccording to a study in the journal Lancet Oncology. After examining medical records of more than one million British women whose height ranged from less than 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 8 inches and taller, researchers found that the tallest women had a 37 percent greater risk of developing cancer.
Similar may also apply to men. Instead, focus on reducing the cancer risk factors you can do something about, like not smokingmaintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake. On the other hand, being shorter may spell a higher risk of heart disease, according to a study in European Heart Journal. Researchers found that the shortest What makes people tall under 5 feet 3 inches had a higher risk of having and dying from cardiovascular disease than taller people. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that genes linked to height can increase your risk of heart disease.
The increase is, on average, Other studies have found that low socioeconomic status — and its connection to poor nutrition and infections early in life — may be to blame for the heart disease-height link. Numerous studies have found that, on average, taller people not only hold jobs of What makes people tall status for instance, sales managers are taller than salespeoplethey also earn more money. The findings help up even after researchers controlled for things like gender, weight, and age.
In another blow to petite people, science shows that taller folks are also perceived as being more attractive. In addition to factors such as power and self esteem, leg length may be a surprising influence. People with shorter-than-average legs were viewed as being less attractive than people with slightly longer gams, a study in Evolution and Human Behavior found.
Sorry, supermodels: The What makes people tall also found that having excessively long legs decreased attractiveness. There may be an evolutionary explanation for the effect, note the researchers. Very short or tall people may have What makes people tall called dwarfism or gigantism, respectively. About one in 15, people have dwarfism, defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or less. Genetic mutations that cause bones to grow short are the main causes, according to Michael J. At the other end of the spectrum is a more rare condition called gigantism, in which people grow very tall, usually due to an excess of growth hormones during childhood often caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland.
Behind the shrinkage: the discs in your spine, which lose water and begin to compress over time. Osteoporosisa bone-weakening disease that affects up to 10 million Americans, can exacerbate the problem. The good news is that working on your posture may help counter height loss. Stretching, strength exercises, yoga, and working with a chiropractor or physical therapist can help. First, dress in monochromatic, tonal palettes. Avoid wearing sharp contrasts in color like white and black, which breaks up your body and makes you appear shorter. If you want to don monster heels, wear pants that cover your shoes to visually add length.
Finally, choose tailored clothing to avoid looking boxy, which will make you look wider and shorter. Health Topics. Health Tools.
Healthy Living. Medically Reviewed. Read on to learn more interesting tidbits about your height. Height Genes Aren't Everything.
Mom Was Wrong About Caffeine. With Height Comes Cancer Risk. Taller People Make More Money. Height Confers Hotness. Genes Can Cause Height Extremes. You Start 'Shrinking' at AgeWhat makes people tall
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Why are some people taller than others? Scientists finally have an answer