Are We Shorter Now Than Our Grandparents?
Height is might – or so we believe. Being tall was always associated with positive qualities such as attractiveness, success, strength, and social status. Taller people (whether men or women) also seem to possess more confidence. In general, although no one is really 100% satisfied with their height, a lot of people want to grow just a few inches taller. But in the midst of technological and nutritional breakthroughs, could we be growing shorter?
Who Is to Blame?
According to expert studies, Americans seem to have stopped growing in the last 50 years. Before, people still grew at least an inch taller every 20 years or so. Experts assume it’s possible that we may already have hit the height cap for our generation.
Our grandparents’ times were admittedly simpler than the lives we live today. They were not tied to their schedules or their gadgets, ate fewer processed foods, and slept at appropriate times. This led them to reach their maximum growth potential in their critical years (teens). Compare that to the average teenager now and you’ll see a huge difference. Aside from the pressures of work and school, they eat fewer fresh, home-cooked meals, and sleep at odd times. These factors can present an obstacle in their growing years. If not remedied before they reach the young adult stage, they may not grow as tall as they could have been.
Another element to consider is genes. People are not static – we move from place to place; often marrying in continent oceans away. With migration, we bring with us our genetic makeup: which includes height characteristics. Children today come from various roots: from Hispanic to European origins; thereby affecting their height. While many ethnicities have an average height of 5 foot 6 or higher, children who are not nutritionally supported may not reach their tallest.
Growth Spurts After 20
These are rare – but it does happen. Growth spurts often occur in men, as they tend to shoot their tallest by the age of 20. Girls usually grow taller earlier in life than boys. When kids don’t get the right nutrients for their growth, their bodies may make up for it later on (not always, but experts say it happens).
What parents need to remember is to keep providing necessary nutrition to their children as aid in their crucial growing years (usually between 2-3 years, stops, then resumes by puberty). Fast food isn’t bad, but should be taken moderate amounts. Nothing beats fresh, home-cooked meals. Protein and calcium in general, are vital to help them gain a maximum height advantage. Make milk, meat, and leafy greens a staple in their diets. Don’t forget regular exercise. One of the best ways to get kids moving is by letting them join a sports club or team that they enjoy. There’s football, basketball, tennis, swimming, track and field, and gymnastics to name a few.
Growth supplements are another option. This is best taken during early childhood or teen years, but there are also vitamins that could be taken during adulthood. When consumed together with a healthy diet, it can be one of the most effective methods to grow taller. Ask your doctor or nutritionist about this alternative.