How Genetics and Nutrition Influence How Tall You Are

is height genetic?

As we age through childhood and into our teens, we frequently would hear people tell us that we looked much taller than when they had last seen us. Humans grow quickly, after all, the growing is (for the most part) done entirely in the first 18 years of our lives.

Genetics and your height

Children can get a general idea of their anticipated height by simply looking at their parents. It is estimated 80% of an individual’s height is determined by DNA sequence variants they inherited (MedlinePlus).

Because of this, height is greatly influenced by genetics. However, which genes are affected and to what degree they have an impact on your height still needs to be better understood.

So the height of your parents is a good rule of thumb, but not an outright rule. You may know someone in your life who has a significantly different height than their parents.

The role of nutrition in influencing height

Vegetables and a healthy diet are essential in the development of young children. While loading up on vegetables will not automatically make you taller, it can help in ensuring you grow to your full potential height.

Your potential maximum height is, for the most part, set from birth in your genetics. You can not alter this to make yourself taller. However, shortcomings in your nutrition throughout your life can prevent you from reaching your maximum potential height.

How exercise can influence height

Exercise, particularly early in life, can positively impact a child’s ability to achieve maximum height later in life. This theory is based on the idea that increased exercise will result in stronger and larger bones.

Animals have been observed to have a correspondence between bone size and exercise.

However, what diet is eaten in correspondence with exercise can play a big role. Your body needs the energy from food to grow, but it also spends that energy exercising. Even with adequate exercise, a body low in protein can not develop as large of bones as intended.