Height is a parameter that characterizes the health and development of children. It is most noticeable by parents and is estimated by the average values that correspond to the age of the child. Boys and girls grow differently. In our article we will try to figure out up to what age boys grow, and on what factors this indicator depends.
What does a person’s height depend on?
Each person has an individual development and growth program. It is related to genetic characteristics, how balanced the diet is, whether the diet is rich in micronutrients and vitamins that contribute to the development of the body. How tall a person will be depends on the production of the hormone somatotropin. It is under its influence that the lengthening of the tubular bones of the limbs occurs. The concentration of this hormone in the body differs at different times in a person’s life. In childhood and adolescence, somatotropin is produced in maximum quantity; by old age, its content goes to zero.
In addition to the somatotropin hormone, genetics has a huge influence. A consortium of 300 scientists from around the world did a major study called “Searching for Genetic Factors Affecting Anthropometric Performance”. They took DNA samples from more than 180,000 people. They found that 80 percent of a person’s height is determined by genetics. And this parameter is affected by about 180 genetic variations.
Scientists have drawn particular attention to the fact that the sites responsible for human height were in close proximity to genes that are directly linked to psoriasis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis. This is evidence that the genes responsible for growth have a link to the diseases listed, which will help in further medical research.
In addition to the somatotropin hormone and genetics, the following factors influence a person’s growth:
quality of sleep;
level of physical activity;
level of sun exposure;
Interesting!Scientists have found that humanity has grown taller. If in the last century, the average height was about 160 centimeters, now this figure has increased to 170. And men are ahead of women in height due to the length of their legs.
Comparing the height of boys and girls
Everyone knows that boys grow up slower than girls. This difference is not seen until children are 10 years old. After they enter puberty, the difference in height becomes more noticeable. Zoltan Antal, M.D., American physician and head of the department of endocrinology, concluded that before children begin puberty, they do not grow more than five centimeters a year.
Girls have a period of rapid growth at the beginning of puberty. Some have a growth spurt at age 10, some at age 8. It depends on the individual characteristics of the body. Two years after puberty, girls completely stop growing. Girls usually have their adult height by the age of 15.
The opposite is true for boys; the time of active growth is later. They begin puberty at age 12. But the intensive growth starts at 13-15 years of age. But even after the end of puberty, boys, even if slowly, but increasing in height until 18-20 years, depending on how early they began puberty.
The main periods of growth
The following major periods of growth are distinguished in a person’s life:
Intrauterine development. During the 9 months of life, a baby in the womb grows about 50 cm.
The first year of life. Over the course of a year, a baby grows by about 25 centimeters. Afterwards, his growth does not increase as quickly.
Adolescence. Boys’ growth occurs between the ages of 12 and 14, girls’ between 11 and 13. During this period the hormone somatotropin is actively produced. In just a few months, a teenager can grow 12 to 20 centimeters.
Many parents would be curious to know what the adult height will be for a baby who is still newborn. In America, the average height formula is used to assume the child’s adult height. The mother’s height is added to the number 12.7. Then add the result to dad’s height and divide everything by 2. The resultant number is the average height of the child. But, these calculations are not accurate, their margin of error is quite high, about 8-10 centimeters.
For example, mom’s height is 165 centimetres and dad’s is 180 centimetres. Making Calculations:
To 165 we add 12.7. That’s 182.7.
Add 180 to 182.7. Result 362.7.
Now divide 362.7 in half. The total is 181.3.
From the assumptions, we can see that the approximate height of the boy is 181 centimeters. Although the margin of error in these calculations is quite large.
If a boy is behind in his growth rate
If a boy is stunted compared to his peers, it is not a reason to worry. Most likely by the end of puberty he will “catch up” with his peers. Most often the growth rate of children is judged on a growth chart. For example, if a 13-year-old boy is 155 centimeters tall, his adult score would be approximately 178 centimeters.
Danton Kono, a pediatrician at a California hospital, says a child can grow without growth spurts, steadily and slowly. And in this case he will reach his normal growth rate for an adult. If parents have doubts about a child’s height, an x-ray examination can be done. From the scans, the doctor will determine if his or her bone size corresponds to his or her physiological age. It happens that a boy at age 14 has the same bone condition as a 12-year-old boy. In this case, he will grow up a little longer than his peers, up to the age of 22.
Stunted growth can result not only from bone health, but also from the amount of growth hormone. If it is insufficient, the boy will lag behind his peers in height. To determine somatotropin levels, a consultation with an endocrinologist and tests will be required. But it is possible to determine for sure if there is a hormonal shift only after puberty.
Reasons for stunting
The Russian Medical Academy of Continuing Professional Education, which is located in Moscow, deals with the problems of stunting in children. A study was conducted which revealed that stunting can be caused not only by endocrine causes, but also by somatic ones. In particular, a genetic disorder of the small intestine that has a link to an enzyme deficiency involved in the breakdown of the gluten peptide. In this case, in addition to stunting, the following symptoms may be present:
Frequent liquid stools;
intermittent abdominal pain;
A 15-year-old boy came to the academy, his height was 135 centimeters. After the examination, anemia of moderate severity, gastrointestinal symptoms, protein-energy deficiency were revealed. After 10 months of therapy, the boy had improved growth rate, bone age index, increased body weight.
Boys’ height, WHO table
The World Health Organization in accordance with modern studies has developed a growth table separately for boys, separately for girls. It differs significantly from previous figures, which took into account only the average height of a child according to his age, and allows parents to estimate their child’s height on their own.
How to influence growth
Previously, children with short stature were doomed to have it throughout their lives. Today, if we start treatment in time, we can help them. You need to get hormone tests and see an endocrinologist for this. Growth stimulation is only possible until adolescence. Once the growth zones have closed, there is no way to remedy the situation. Correcting this issue with hormone therapy. Usually insufficient somatotropin hormone goes in tandem with disorders of the thyroid, sex glands, and adrenal glands.
In order for a child to fully produce somatotropin, the following factors must be addressed:
A child needs dairy products daily for healthy development and growth. This is due to the fact that the calcium contained in them is one of the main building materials for children’s growing body. It is important to include fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet daily. Carrots, which are rich in such substance as beta-carotene, are good for growth. This micronutrient is essential for a growing organism. For beta-carotene to be better absorbed, it is recommended that carrots be combined with fats. In this regard, if you want your child to increase his growth, feed him regularly carrot salad. Grate raw carrots and dress them with butter or sour cream.
Scientists have proven that it is possible to increase a child’s growth by 10% by adjusting the diet, by including foods that stimulate the synthesis of the somatotropin hormone on a daily basis. Protein food has a beneficial effect on its production, while too much glucose reduces the amount of somatotropin. This is why endocrinologists recommend giving your child a home-cooked meal of fish and meat every day. Whereas it is better to give sweets as infrequently as possible. In this case, there’s a chance he’ll be taller than normal.
Everyone knows that an active child who gets outdoors every day and engages in sports grows up much faster. If you are interested in your child being taller, send him to a sports club from an early age. Prefer tennis, swimming, basketball, volleyball. Strength sports are undesirable during body growth. Wrestling, weightlifting have been observed to have an impact on growth inhibition.
Healthy sleep has a big impact. Of course, the hormone somatotropin is produced at any time of the day, but it is known that metabolism is increased at night. If the child doesn’t sleep well at night, his metabolism and somatotropin production are decreased, and he grows more slowly.
Boys take longer to grow than girls, usually ending at age 20. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, consult an endocrinologist, you can make adjustments to your growth. But, this is only possible until the end of adolescence.