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New Study Reveals Diet as A Major Factor Affecting Height

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

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As is the case with being slim, being tall is considered a standard of beauty. People often desire that their kids grow up with what is considered a good height. Young people often want their companions to be tall.

An individual’s height is impacted by a combination of various factors. For a vast majority of people, maximum growth takes place pre-puberty. Children generally tend to grow the most until puberty and reach their maximum heights by the age of 18. Increase in height in adulthood is very rare.

Latest research has revealed that nutrition plays a major role in the growth of an individual. In other words, eating right can make you taller. How this works is explored below.

Table of Contents

Impact of Diet on Height

Nutrition is potentially one of the most important factor affecting height. Height has a direct correlation with a healthy diet. Lack of proper nutrition for children can result in different sorts of dietary deficiencies. These deficiencies then lead to reduced or stunted growth and tend to make children less tall than those with good nutrition.

Therefore the first step towards a good height is a healthy diet. During growth years, the body requires the right amount of nutrients for proper growth and development. A balanced diet consisting of ample healthy foods is the key towards a good height. Foods rich in proteins, iron, calcium, vitamins, as well as other essential nutrients are very important for growth.


Foods that make you taller

Below is a list of food items that can make a person taller.

  1. Beans are a rich source of protein and iron, both essential substances for growth.
  2. Milk contains a good amount of protein as well as several micronutrients vital for bone health as well as for increasing or maintaining growth.
  3. Berries are good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C has many health benefits such as the promotion of cell growth and tissue repair. It also results in increasing collagen production.
  4. Salmon contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve sleep and bone turnover to increase growth.
  5. Eggs have high amounts of protein and vitamin D, along with several other important micronutrients. Research has shown that regular intake of eggs could be associated with increases in height.
  6. Quinoa contains protein and magnesium, both useful substances for increasing bone mineral density.
  7. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which helps enhance bone health. Moreover, they have a lot of fiber that promotes digestive health and nutrient absorption.
  8. Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, as well as potassium. Some types may also contain probiotics, which may help improve growth.
  9. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin K, which supports bone health. It is also said that regular consumption of greens could preserve bone mass.
  10. Almonds are an excellent source of Vitamin E and inhibit the formation of osteoclasts, a type of cell that breaks down bone tissue.

Moreover, ensuring proper nutrition during pregnancy is also very important for the bone health and growth of the fetus. Therefore doctors suggest the intake of vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts, fish, beans, dairy products etc, during pregnancy, for the growth of the child.

 Other factors affecting height

In addition to nutrition, a number of other factors also influence the height of an individual. These include:

  1. Genetics

The genes of an individual are a very major factor affecting height. DNA structure is essential in determining how tall a person would be. It is believed today that more than 700 different genes determine a person’s height. Some of these genes are responsible for production of growth hormone, and others affect the growth plates. Some genetic conditions can also have an impact on a person’s adult height, such as Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome.

Normal height ranges for people differ owing to different ethnic backgrounds. This too, is determined by the differences in DNA.

  • Hormones

The body produces a number of different types of hormones that instruct the growth plates to make new bone. One such set of hormones is the growth hormones. These are made in the pituitary gland and are the most important hormones for growth. Certain health conditions may restrict the amount of growth hormones the body makes, negatively affecting height. For example, children with a rare genetic condition called congenital growth hormone deficiency, grow at a much slower rate than other children.

Another kind is the thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland makes these hormones that then influence growth. A third kind is the sex hormones. Sex hormones called testosterone and estrogen are essential for growth during puberty.

  • Sex

The sex of individuals also has an impact on their heights. In general, males tend to be taller than females. Research suggests that on average, an adult male is 5.5 in (14 cm) taller than an adult female. Males may also continue growing for longer than females.

  • Age

Age is another important factor in determining one’s height. Since height stops growing after a certain age, it is important that nutritional needs of children are met during their growth years. Moreover, older people may experience a decrease in their height due to loss in their bone mass. This is especially the case for women who lose their bone mass during menopause.

  • Sleep

A lack of sleep can affect growth. This is particularly true during adolescence as insufficient hours of sleep can lead to growth related problems. This is because during sleep, the body releases HGH hormone. Production of this hormone and others may greatly reduce if one is not getting enough sleep.

  • Posture

Good posture can lead to proper growth and a good height. Slouching and slumping over a long period of time can negatively affect height as well.

To conclude, when it comes to height, a number of factors are in play. However, one of the most important ones is the healthy diet and proper nutrition. While certain factors such as diet and sleep can be controlled, other such as genetic makeup, sex, and age are beyond one’s control.

However, if you have concerns about your height or your child’s height, book an appointment with the best Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer
Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.

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