In a world where height is often associated with numerous advantages, it’s no wonder that many parents find themselves pondering a crucial question: Will their children inherit their shorter stature? This concern is not uncommon, as the desire for our offspring to reach their full potential is a universal aspiration. So, how does science shed light on the intriguing interplay between genetics and growth? And is there a way to defy genetic predispositions and help children grow taller, even when their parents stand on the shorter side of the spectrum? In this enlightening article by Debametulam, we delve into these pressing questions to uncover the fascinating science behind height inheritance and explore potential strategies to nurture greater height in the next generation
How does genetics affect height?
Height growth is determined by many factors: Genetics, nutrition, exercise, sleep and living environment. Of these, genetics was identified as having an impact of about 23% on height.
Joel Hirschhorn , a geneticist at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Broad Institute, says there are about 700 different genes that determine a person’s height development. Each gene has a relatively small effect, usually 1mm or less. These genes affect the growth plate, which governs the production of growth hormone.
The influence of genetics on a child’s height is a random process.
For example: The father has the structural gene AaBbCc, the mother has the structural gene aaBBCc with 3 high genes A, B, C and 3 low genes a, b, c. Each person has 3 tall genes and 3 low genes and is of average height. Children can inherit 3 tall genes and 3 low genes from their parents and also be of average height.
But it can happen that the child inherits up to 5 high genes and only 1 low gene can be taller than the parents. On the other hand, parents can pass on 5 low genes to their children, only 1 high gene, so they will be lower than their parents. While, in fact, there are more than 700 genes involved in height regulation, it is difficult to determine the height of children just from the height index of the parents.
The average height of people in each country is different, this is determined by their DNA. Currently, Vietnam is among the lowest countries in the world. In particular, the group of Nordic countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have the highest average height in the world.
If the parents have outstanding height, the children also inherit the genes that regulate good height and have a good chance of owning the ideal height if taken care of scientifically.
Can children be taller than their parents?
Although the average height of Vietnam is still low compared to other countries in the region and the world, it is experiencing strong growth.
In 2010, the average height of young Vietnamese men was 164.4cm and 153.6cm for women. According to the results announced by the Ministry of Health, a survey conducted by the General Statistics Office and the National Institute of Nutrition in 2019-2020, the height of young Vietnamese men has increased to 168.1cm, women reached 156 ,2cm.
The next generation is having a better height than their parents and grandparents. This is because many parents have begun to pay more attention to taking care of their children’s height. With the economic development, the general income level is improved, the parents are able to pay attention and provide a variety of nutritional supplements, thereby helping to
Children can completely be taller than their parents if they are invested in nutrition, exercise, and have a healthy and safe living environment. In contrast, if not properly cared for, children are still at risk of being short even if their parents are of outstanding height.
Because the daily care regime affects nearly 80% of the child’s natural height growth. Therefore, whether parents are tall or short, it is still necessary to have a plan to supplement nutrition with a variety of foods, encourage children to live in moderation, to be able to conquer the ideal height as expected.
How to help children increase height effectively?
Outstanding height is a solid springboard to help your child confidently choose his favorite job, build relationships and have a higher chance of success. Therefore, parents do not miss the effective tips to increase height for children that are about to be shared below:
Diverse and nutritious meals : Nutrition governs more than 30% of the child’s natural height development process. Therefore, in each daily meal, parents need to choose a variety of foods, providing enough 4 important groups of nutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Foods rich in Calcium such as: Fresh milk, yogurt, fish, shrimp, crab, snails, spinach, mustard greens, kale, beans… should often appear in the nutritional menu because calcium is the main ingredient. in bone structure. In addition to 3 main meals of breakfast – lunch – dinner, children should have 2 more snacks/day to have enough energy for physical activity and support height development.
Exercise 1 hour/day : Regular exercise strengthens the skeletal system by stimulating the accumulation of minerals in the bones. In addition, after exercise, the pituitary gland also produces more growth hormone than usual, creating ideal conditions for height growth. Active children have a well-functioning immune system, healthy digestion, and improved general health. Parents should encourage their children to play sports for about 1 hour/day with the following subjects: Swimming, volleyball, basketball, jumping rope, jogging, yoga…
Sleep before 10 pm : If the child starts sleeping before 10 pm, the body enters deep sleep before 11 pm, the pituitary gland can produce more growth hormone than when awake or just starting to sleep. The more growth hormone there is, the better the height will be. Your child’s bedroom must ensure the following factors: Cool, clean, quiet, so that the child can have a good night’s sleep. Recommended sleep time will vary by age, on average children in puberty need 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day.
Using nutritional supplements : Many parents are still wondering about the impact of nutritional supplements on their children’s height, so they hesitate to let their children use them. In fact, nutritional supplements have been present and well received by parents in Western countries for many years. This is a source of important nutrients to help support good height growth such as: Calcium, Collagen type II , vitamin D, phosphorus … that the daily diet lacks due to food choices and processing. In the wrong way, children are poorly absorbed, life is busy… In order for their children to grow in height, parents need to search and choose for their children a quality and safe nutritional supplement.
Some wrong habits to avoid for children to increase height
Despite paying attention to taking care of children scientifically, in order for them to maintain the following habits, height is difficult to develop to their full potential:
Exercising too much : Exercise is very good for height, but on condition that the child exercises with reasonable intensity and correct technique. Exercising too much or in the wrong way is not only not beneficial for height but also adversely affects health. If it is not possible to guide their children to exercise at home, parents should register their children to attend prestigious sports centers so that their children can exercise at a reasonable intensity and reduce the risk of injury when playing sports.
Eat fast food : Fast food contains a lot of high lo, but poor nutrition, does not contain vitamins and minerals which are very important nutrients for height. Children who eat a lot of fast food are also at risk of obesity. Therefore, parents need to control their children’s habit of using fast food, minimizing this group of foods in their daily diet.
Drinking carbonated soft drinks : Air bubbles in carbonated soft drinks have the potential to harm bones by reducing the ability to absorb calcium and losing calcium in bones, thereby adversely affecting bone health and height. high. This drink also contains a lot of sugar and creates a feeling of fullness, causing children to eat less, causing nutritional deficiencies necessary for the development of height. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the child’s habit of drinking carbonated soft drinks, encouraging them to choose filtered water, juices, fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Smoking : Tobacco is the cause of many dangerous diseases: cancer, heart attack, stroke, accelerates aging, and reduces the function of many organ systems in the body. Many children and adolescents today are not properly supervised and educated by their parents, so they have smoked from a very early age, affecting their health and reducing their chances of growing up. Parents should educate their children to understand the harmful effects of tobacco and give up this harmful habit for health and height.
Use of alcohol : Wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages are not recommended, especially for children and adolescents. Alcohol paralyzes the nervous system, puts pressure on the liver and digestive system. More dangerously, alcohol is also addictive, which will adversely affect the health and future of children. Therefore, if it is discovered that their children use alcohol regularly, parents need to take measures to educate and deter them, so as not to let their children fall into this habit and lose their health and great opportunities.
Even if the parents are short, the child can still grow taller if there is a scientific and synchronous solution to increase height from a young age. Subjectively tall parents should not pay attention to the height of their children, children may have to live with a short appearance. Therefore, to help children reach the ideal height, parents can apply the tips to increase height for children that the article shares.