Factors Affecting Height:
Being tall isn’t in our control, is it? Only partly true!
Genetic and non-genetic factors have a major role in determining our height. Our body height is regulated by the hormone called “Human Growth Hormone [HGH)”. HGH is secreted in our body by the pituitary gland and is required for the growth of long bones and cartilages.
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a. Genetic Factors:
Height is influenced by various genes in our body. As our height is determined by several genes, it is polygenic. If both our parents are short, it does not mean we won’t be tall. Tall parents can have short children and vice versa. However, if most of the members of our family from both sides are of short stature, then the next generations are most likely to have a short height. Genetic factors are entirely beyond our control.
To calculate your projected height, follow these steps:
First add both your parents’ heights together, either counting in inches or centimetres
If you are male, add 5 inches, that is, 13 cm to this. However, if you are a girl, take away 5 inches from the total of your parent’s height
Now divide this number by 2
What you get is your projected height. This can be plus or minus 4 inches. This is an approximate way to predict what your height will be.
b. Non Genetic Factors:
There are several non-genetic factors that influence our height to an extent. Being tall is associated with growth and therefore, a short height can be attributed to inadequate nutrition for proper growth, lack of physical activity, incorrect posture, etc.
Certain other non-genetic factors which may affect height include:
Maternal smoking during pregnancy,
Prenatal and Post natal care
Ill health during childhood and adolescence
Mental conditions during childhood and adolescence
Non-genetic factors can be controlled to an extent by following an overall healthy lifestyle from childhood.
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