Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Feeling Too Tall or Too Short?

March 9, 2011

“Line up shortest to tallest!” the teacher calls out. “Not again,” some kids might groan — especially if they have to stand at one end or the other.

For most kids, height isn’t something they can change, so what do you do if you don’t like how tall or short you are? It might be girls feeling too tall and boys feeling too short. But some really tall boys might not like all that height and some shorter girls might get tired of all the jokes or of feeling like they’re staying little while their friends are growing up.

It’s in Your Genes

But the truth is that everyone is growing up — it’s just that they’re doing it at their own pace. In other words, your body grows on its own schedule. You can’t wish yourself taller or stretch yourself. Or if you’re already tall, you can’t do anything to hurry up your friends up so you’re not the tallest one.

For kids concerned about their height, there are two big questions:

  1. When will I grow taller (or stop growing)?
  2. How tall will I be?

Your genes, which you inherited from your parents, largely determine how tall you will end up being and how fast you’ll grow. Kids get taller more quickly during growth spurts, times when their bodies grow fast — as much as 4 inches or more in a year during puberty, for example!

When Does Height Happen?

Your biggest growth spurt happened when you were a baby. In that first year of life, you grew about 10 inches as you got bigger and stronger. Since then, you’ve probably seen your height increase a few inches a year. You might find out how much you’ve grown during your annual checkup at the doctor’s office or when your pants get too short. Uh, oh — we can see your ankles!

After babyhood, the next big growth spurt for kids comes during puberty, a time of many changes when boys and girls grow bigger and start to look more like adult men and women. But no one can tell you exactly when you’ll experience these changes.

Puberty starts at different ages for different kids and it is a process that takes a couple of years. So the getting taller part will happen at different ages, depending on the kid, and whether he or she is a boy or a girl.

In general, puberty starts:

  • between ages 8 and 13 in girls
  • between 9 and 14 in boys

During puberty, boys and girls will have a growth spurt and grow to their adult height. So that means girls who start puberty the latest will still be getting taller in their mid-teens. For boys, the latest to reach puberty will still be getting taller into their late teens. A few of these boys may grow taller even into their early 20s!

How Tall Will I Be?

You might want to know how tall you will be. Will you be nose to nose with your mom or dad someday? There’s no way to know for sure how tall a kid will be as an adult, but it’s easy to get a clue: Look at your parents and the other adult members of your family. How tall are they? Chances are you’ll be around the same height as your parents. If one parent is tall and one short, then you’re likely to end up somewhere in between.

But you could be taller or shorter, too. Boy, there are a lot of “buts” when it comes to height! That’s because your height is determined by your genes — the complicated code of instructions that you inherit from your parents. Genes tell your body how to grow and determine lots of things, including how tall you are.

But those genes don’t make you an exact copy of your mom or dad. Kids only get some of the genes from each of their parents, and parents don’t give the same bunch of their genes to each kid. If you have brothers and sisters, you know this is true. Brothers and sisters can look very different even though you have the same parents. Even identical twins can end up being different heights!

Here are some things some short or tall kids might have to deal with:

You’re too short to ride the rides you want to ride at an amusement park.
This one is upsetting. You’re all ready to board the super-fast roller coaster and the ride operator says you’re too small. Sometimes, you will be allowed to ride with an adult, so try to have one handy.

You still have to use a booster seat in the car.
Though you haven’t used a car seat for a long time, older kids are supposed to use a booster seat until they are 4-feet-9-inches tall. The seats are meant to position the seat belt properly in case of a crash. If your friends don’t have to use one and you do, you might feel funny about it. On the plus side, sitting higher makes it easier to see and might help if you get carsick and need to keep looking out the window.

You’re a girl who’s taller than the boys.
This can make a girl feel awkward, especially when it comes time to be paired up, like at a school dance. Eventually, this evens out, but it takes a little while because many girls have their growth spurts before the boys do.

Someone teases you about being too tall or too short.
This kind of teasing is the worst. You can’t change your height, so what are you supposed to do? As with most teasing, try not to let it bother you. Tell a teacher, parent, or another adult if it’s bothering you and the person won’t stop.

What Can I Do Right Now?

If you are still worried about your height, talk to your parents and your doctor. Most kids don’t have a growth problem that needs help from a doctor, but it’s always OK to ask if you’re concerned.

So for most kids, it seems like there’s not much to do but wait to see how it all turns out. But you can do something right now: Eat healthy and take care of yourself. If you get the nutrition, sleep, and exercise you need, you’re likely to reach your maximum potential height. In other words, you’ll grow as tall as you were meant to grow.

And even though you may hear people say it, taking extra vitamins or supplements that you can buy in a store won’t help you get taller. Just stick to a healthy diet if you want to be the tallest you can be!

Kids who wish they weren’t so tall should still eat healthy and take care of themselves, of course. Eating less won’t make you end up any shorter unless you really starved yourself and made yourself sick.

As they get older, most kids learn to feel comfortable with their height, whether they turn out tall, short, or somewhere in between.

Article by KidsHealth.org

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Height increasing insoles comparison and shoe lifts product review

May 30, 2009

Here at All About Height (AllAboutHeight), we have spent countless hours speaking with individuals about increasing their height; listening to their stories of challenges, frustration and success. We’ve also been a consumer and user of many of the products that claim to help you grow taller; from ‘growth pills,’ to stretching techniques that help you grow, HGH (Human Growth Hormone), wearing customize shoe with heels to make you taller. We agree that stretching is great for posture and appearance and will make you appear taller, feel taller and actually be taller, but it wont actually help you grow taller – it cant hurt though. Growth Pills are a down right scam if you ask us, a waste of money, time and who knows what you are putting in your body. HGH as proven, works in terms of increasing height but only while you are in your years of growing. It is also extreme and expensive. High heels and customized height shoes with built in insoles don’t really work for us, they may for us, but not for us. High heels on men just look ridiculous and everyone knows you are compensating for a lack of height. Also, shoes with built in height cushions dont allow for flexibility of style, you are forced to wear shoes that don’t convey your style or trends and that sometimes look plain silly. What we have found is that height increasing shoe insoles and heel lifts can provide a person with a quick change in height, allowing them to instantly grow 1″ to 3″ as soon as applied.

Based on our conversations with hundreds of individuals on the subject we realized their was no review of the different companies and websites that offer insole shoe lifts so we decided to put one together. Below you will find a review of the companies website, product and price and our thoughts about each. Please comment on your thoughts about these companies and let us know if there are others that belong on this list.

ShoeLift

About ShoeLift.com
Proven to Instantly Make You Look Taller, Slimmer and Increase Your Self Confidence!
Fact: Regular usage of Shoe Lifts will help Tone & Strengthen Calf Muscles!
Shoe lift heel lift inserts may be used by both men and women, in all standard footwear. Dress shoes, casual shoes and all types of boots can comfortably conceal the lift and provide valuable and secret height increase. The lifts are made using a durable yet comfortable black EVA foam blend, and affix to the sole of any shoe by means of a peel-off adhesive coating on the base of the lift. This means that the lift can be used in your favourite boots or shoes, and you don’t have to spend large amounts of time and money on height exercises, human growth hormone, limb-lengthening, height increasing shoes or special footwear to get that extra height you desire!

Height Increase – 1 pair of these .25 (quarter inch) heel lifts will run you:

Price – $38.00

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While ShoeLift.com seems to ship anywhere in the world it seems to be located overseas, possibly in Asia, which may affect your shipping time if you are located in North America or Europe. The site is a bunch of text on a page and isn’t all that helpful. But the 2 biggest issues for us are the prices at $38.00 for a 0.25″ of height seems higher than the norm. The second is that heel lifts alone seem to move around in your shoe when putting them on, making for a somewhat uncomfortable fit at times.

increasingshoes.com

About IncreasingShoes.com
Our shoes will invisibly increase your height by 2-5 inches without losing any comfort. Every pair of our shoes is stylish, comfort, high quality and with best care.
Height increasing elevator shoes are not going to make you grow taller, they are similar to high heels, but the heels are hidden and much more comfortable, with our patented height increasing shoes offer extra cushioning, the additional layer of shock absorption cushioning ensure the bottom of feet to receive minimal impact from walking.
Wearing our height increasing elevator shoes will increase your height unnoticed by others, and it will also enhance your physical appearance at the same time. And they are always undetectable. The secret of the height increase given by products lies in the internal build-up of the shoes. This height increaser was shaped to fit in the rear of the shoe.
Men who want to be taller should give our elevator height increasing shoes a trial, they will not be disappointed. Our shoes are really beautiful. The bespoke look and hard wearing qualities make them well worth the price. Your order will have our careful attention and your money will be refunded in accordance with our guarantee, if you are not satisfied.

Height Increase – 2″ – 5″

Price – $49.00 – $149.00

Elevator shoes,built in height insoles

As mentioned in our first paragraph of this article, while Elevator Shoes work they don’t offer a lot of flexibility in styles. They may be better in a dress shoe experience as most dress shoes are not heavily branded to begin with but in the scenario that you are wearing sneakers it would be difficult to convey your own sense of style. When we used live chat on the site, we received this message:
“All operators are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An operator will be with you shortly.”
Most of these sites seem to be bland and not heavy in conveying helpful tips, explanations or a good user experience in terms of navigating their websites.

LiftKits

About MyLiftKits.com
LiftKits was founded by 3 guys in Hollywood, California on the simple belief that we should take a realistic approach to an increasingly unrealistic world. In the real world, we are constantly trying to deceive reality… All of us have observed the tactics women engage in to cheat the playing field. Whether it be high-heels, push-up bras, padded bras, fake eye lashes and the like, these women have a lot in their collective arsenal and, quite simply, it works. At LiftKits we had one thought: Why not add something extra to our game? If this is reality then lets live it.
With that being said, LiftKits is all about one thing: Confidence. Let’s face it – having the ability to naturally and comfortably increase your height up to 2 inches is huge. The first time each of us stepped into a pair of LiftKits, it not only changed our height but our State of Mind as well. Initially, we wanted to keep it a secret from others but as our friends started to notice the certainty in which we acted and the assuredness in our step – we had to come clean and share the secret. The feeling of walking into a night club and comfortably scanning the crowd is hard to describe; I am no longer average! Or to walk into a job interview, an audition for your next part, or to simply to go out with your friends on a Saturday night and stand out from the crowd – the confidence you’ll possess when wearing a pair of LiftKits will change your life. It changed ours.

Height Increase – 1″ Lo-Top 1.5″ – 2″ Hi-Top

Price – $20.00 Lo-Top $25.00 Hi-Top

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The reason we like and recommend LiftKits as our #1 choice are multiple. First and foremost the price is right.
They have a Facebook, MySpace, Photos on Flickr as well as their site and most of all they have an informative blog that keeps you update with their product and best practices. Supposedly they will be launching a women’s line shortly.
The company also seems to be fairly transparent about the difficulties associated with wearing height insoles and allows for community involvement when commenting and answering questions about their insoles at get satisfaction.

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5CMShoe.com

About 5cmShoes.com
New insole increase your height close to 5cm in secret
This insole may be used by both men and women, in all standard footwear.
All types of boots can comfortably conceal the lift and provide valuable and secret height increase.
We only accept PAYPAL payment and will ship WORLDWIDE.

Height Increase – 1.5″ – 2″ (5cm)

Price – $15.00 USD

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5cmShoes has a similar height boosting product to LiftKits. We like this site because it straight forward and to the point. They accept Paypal and the site is in English, Japanese, and Cantonese (Chinese). If you are located in Asia or the UK, we recommend 5cmShoes for your purchase.

TallMenShoes

Welcome to Tallmenshoes.com, your NO.1 American shoes retailer featuring Men’s Height Increase Shoes online. With over 10 years of elevated shoes selling experience on the web and direct manufacture, we are able to provide you the highest quality footwear at greatest price. Our product will invisibly add 2-4 inches in height without losing any comfort. Every pair of the shoes is stylish, comfort, high quality leather made w/ best care. Increase Height has never been easier!
The secret of the height increase given by elevator shoes lies in the internal build-up. The build up improves your posture and gives you a feeling of positive well-being and grow taller. Elevator shoes is the only and final solution of height increasing. With over 200 different styles selection in stock for immediate shipping, you can rest and assure to have a satisfied shopping experience.

Height Increase – 2″- 5″

Price – $68.00 – $177.00

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Again, as with IncreasingShoes.com, TallermenShoes give you the Elevator boost you are looking for but the lack of style and flexibility still remain. You are stuck with the shoes vs. being able to quickly and easily move the insole from one shoe to the next to allow for you to carry your style to any shoe and still get the extra height boost needed.

MagicInsoles

About MagicInsoles.com
This year, MagicInsoles has partnered with the World’s No.1 elevator shoes manufacturer Increasing Shoes, the company that invent Height Increasing Shoes to offer their Increasing Shoes at our site.
Before, you can put MagicInsoles into your normal shoes to get 1-2 inches taller. From now, you can easily get up to 5 inches taller by purchasing the World’s No.1 Height Increasing Shoes from us.
To celebrate our new relationship with Increasing Shoes, we launch the 2009 Special Promotion to let you save more and more. MagicInsoles is your ONE-STOP-SHOP for elevator shoes and height increasing shoe lifts.

Height Increase – 1″ – 2.5″

Price – $29.99

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Magic Insoles
have a host of products to help boost your height The site is a bit out dated and old school and prices seem to trend a bit higher than the comparable 5cmShoes and MyLiftKits.

TallerHeels (based in the UK)

About TallerHeels.com
Height Increasing Insoles and Heel Lifts from TallerHeels
Our height increasing insoles (heel lifts) simply slip inside your existing shoes fitting almost any size of shoe, men’s or women’s making the user appear taller, acting as adjustable lifts – and they are completely discreet.

Height Increase – 1cm – 5cm

Price – 5.99 British Pounds

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TallerHeels conveys a lot of information about boost growing products and the price points are cheap. This company/website is located in the UK, so pay close attention when getting items shipped as they may carry a hefty shipping fee for your height insole purchases.

TallerYou

About TallerYou.com
To provide unsurpassed product quality and effectiveness with the best service possible. Help to improve the quality of life for our customers and the charities we support. We are committed to providing the highest level of professionalism and ethics.

Height – 1″ – 2 1/2″ Heel Lift only

Price – $30.00 (Pack of rubber wedges)

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Although theses insole height lift inserts will give you a height boost, the site and products are plain and not very informative.

Age-related perception of stature, acceptance of therapy…

May 20, 2009

Title: Age-related perception of stature, acceptance of therapy, and psychosocial functioning in human growth hormone-treated girls with Turner’s syndrome.

Author: Lagrou, K : Xhrouet Heinrichs, D : Heinrichs, C : Craen, M : Chanoine, J P : Malvaux, P : Bourguignon, J P

Citation: J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1998 May; 83(5): 1494-501

Abstract: This study evaluated the perception of stature, acceptance of therapy, and psychosocial functioning in relation to age at onset and time on treatment during 2 yr of GH therapy in 31 girls with Turner’s syndrome grouped by age (group A: 3.7-5.8 yr, n = 9; group B: 7.2-11.8 yr, n = 13; group C: 12.5-16.4 yr, n = 9). The growth response after 2 yr was significant in the 3 groups when calculated in terms of growth norms for untreated Turner girls (mean increase in height SD score: +1.2, +1.5, and +1.1, respectively). The effect was less marked in terms of growth norms for normal girls, particularly in group B (+0.5 SD score). Height was perceived as a problem by most patients, except in the youngest girls at the start of treatment (group A) and in the majority of the adolescents after 2 yr of GH therapy (group C), without evidence of relation to growth response during therapy. The GH injections were fairly well accepted by all patients, except those younger than 6 yr. In all patients, expected adult height was unrealistic and became more realistic with age, whereas no consistent changes were observed in relation to growth response to GH therapy. The Child Behavior Checklist revealed elevated mean scores at the behavioral subscales of attention problems (group A and B), social problems, withdrawal, and anxiety-depression (most obviously in group B). No significant changes were seen during GH therapy. In group C, an elevated mean social problem score at the Youth Self Report and a low mean social self-esteem score at the Self-Esteem Inventory were observed before therapy and showed a significant improvement during 2 yr of GH treatment. These results, however, might be biased due to an increase in social desirability during therapy. We conclude that the perception of height, acceptance of GH therapy, and psychosocial functioning in girls with Turner’s syndrome show important differences between age groups, with only slight changes observed during GH therapy.

Why are tall women considered superior to shorter women?

January 24, 2009

Why are tall women considered superior to shorter women?

Because if you’re tall like Uma Thurman, other women think you’re more intelligent, assertive and independent, and if you’re as short as Kylie Minogue, you’re merely considerate and nurturing

By Roger Dobson

Generations of women have complained about high-heeled shoes and the crushed toes and bunions they suffer for the sake of an extra inch or two. Now ground-breaking research has proved their sacrifice is not in vain.

Both men and women judge a tall female on first sight as more intelligent, assertive, independent and ambitious. For good measure, they are also judged richer and more successful, whatever the reality.

Psychologists at the universities of Liverpool and Central Lancashire have run the first scientific experiments to prove that “heightism” – which has always been associated with competition between men – colours our view of women’s talents too.

They found that when volunteers were shown digitally lengthened and shortened pictures of women, they made a series of instant judgments about their likely personalities, not all of them flattering. According to Dr Simon Chu, who led the research, it is “the first direct evidence that female height influences perception of their character”.

Tall women do not have things all their own way. The researchers also found that the male volunteers judged small women to be more nurturing and likely to be better mothers.

Shorter women also get support from a separate new analysis from University College London, which shows that women with an hour-glass figure – associated more commonly with small and medium-sized rather than tall females – are seen not only as more attractive, but more intelligent, flirtatious, healthy and fertile. They found that women whose waist was 70 per cent of the size of their hips were thought the most attractive, as well as the most intelligent.

In the Liverpool and Lancashire study, psychologists manipulated pictures of women standing against cars so that the same casually dressed woman appeared in different images to be tall or short. The height of the shorter women was just under 5ft 1in and the taller females 5ft 8in. A hundred men and women, aged 18 to 62, were then asked to rate the women for eight characteristics.

Men believed that shorter women were more considerate, nurturing and homely. However, women on the panel believed that there was no difference between tall and short women for these three traits.

Why men see short females as more caring and more homely is not clear. One theory is that taller women mature sexually later, because more energy is being expended on growing at a time when the reproductive system is developing. Other research has shown that shorter women have more reproductive success – which may be why men see them as more nurturing.

“The accumulating evidence converges on the view that short stature is linked with reproduction, while tall stature is linked with strength,” the report says.

At the same time, expending more energy on growing means that taller women are bigger and stronger, both of which are associated with independence and self-reliance.

Certainly, they are well represented on the public stage. Nicole Kidman, at 5ft 11in, has hardly been held back, although she was unable to wear heels while married to the significantly shorter Tom Cruise. Nor has Uma Thurman, at 6ft. Jodie Kidd, another six-footer, says her height has rarely been a handicap. “I’ve always been very content with the way I look. The only time being so tall has been a problem was when I was showjumping – my feet used to hang down and knock down all the fences.”

The aptly named Liz Large, who runs a clothing company for tall women, said: “I’m 6ft 1in, and it does mean you are noticed automatically. At work I was promoted very young – people just assumed I was grown up and a safe pair of hands.”

Dr David Weeks, a consultant clinical neuropsychologist at the Superyoung clinic in Edinburgh said: “In the past in Britain, being tall has been associated with leadership and social class. If you go back to the early 1940s when they were sorting out who was suitable to be an officer, there three factors – height, dash and moustache. The more, you had the better. Being tall can make a good first impression but it can also be far more enduring and long lasting in people’s perceptions.”

Not that being short is always a handicap. Dr Ros Taylor, a clinical psychologist who has researched image, believes that any advantage a tall person has lasts for a maximum of 30 seconds, after which the positive impression has to be backed up by substance.

“It’s not as if when you are tall that in itself gives you power. It is an initial advantage, and it certainly is an advantage, but if you don’t have it there are other compensations” – an argument that Kylie Minogue, 5ft 1in, and Charlotte Church, 5ft 2in, would support wholeheartedly.

Real Celebrity Heights (or not so much)

December 17, 2008

Ever wonder how tall your favorite celebrities are? We’ll be publishing more of these from time to time.

Tom Cruise 5′ 7 ”

Robin Williams 5′ 7 ”

Dustin Hoffman 5 ‘ 6 ”

Al Pacino 5′ 5 1/2 ”

Seth Green 5 ‘ 4 ”

Dudley Moore 5 ‘ 2 1/2 ”

Danny DeVito 5 ‘ 0 ”

———————-

Drew Barrymore 5 ‘ 4 ”

Mena Suvari 5 ‘ 4 ”

Jodie Foster 5 ‘ 3 1/2 ”

Reese Witherspoon 5 ‘ 2 ”

Kristin Chenoweth 4 ‘ 11 ”

What Happened to America’s Height Advantage?

December 11, 2008

What happened to America’s height advantage?
Posted 7/15/2007 12:31 PM

By Matt Crenson, Associated Press
NEW YORK — America used to be the tallest country in the world.

From the days of the founding fathers right on through the industrial revolution and two world wars, Americans literally towered over other nations. In a land of boundless open spaces and limitless natural abundance, the young nation transformed its increasing wealth into human growth.

But just as it has in so many other arenas, America’s predominance in height has faded. Americans reached a height plateau after World War II, gradually falling behind the rest of the world as it continued growing taller.

By the time the baby boomers reached adulthood in the 1960s, most northern and western European countries had caught up with and surpassed the United States. Young adults in Japan and other prosperous Asian countries now stand nearly as tall as Americans do.

Even residents of the formerly communist East Germany are taller than Americans today. In Holland, the tallest country in the world, the typical man now measures 6 feet, a good two inches more than his average American counterpart.

Compare that to 1850, when the situation was reversed. Not just the Dutch but all the nations of western Europe stood 2½ inches shorter than their American brethren.

Does it really matter? Does being taller give the Dutch any advantage over say, the Chinese (men 5 feet, 4.9 inches; women 5 feet, 0.8 inches) or the Brazilians (men 5 feet, 6.5 inches; women 5 feet, 3 inches)?

Many economists would argue that it does matter, because height is correlated with numerous measures of a population’s well-being. Tall people are healthier, wealthier and live longer than short people. Some researchers have even suggested that tall people are more intelligent.

It’s not that being tall actually makes you smarter, richer or healthier. It’s that the same things that make you tall — a nutritious diet, good prenatal care and a healthy childhood — also benefit you in those other ways.

That makes height a good indicator for economists who are interested in measuring how well a nation provides for its citizens during their prime growing years. With one simple, easily collected statistic, economists can essentially measure how well a society prepares its children for life.

“This is the part of the society that usually eludes economists, because economists are usually thinking about income. And this is the part of the society that doesn’t earn an income,” said John Komlos, an economic historian at the University of Munich who was born in Hungary, grew up in Chicago, and has spent the last quarter century compiling data on the heights of nations.

Height tells you about a segment of the population that is invisible to traditional economic statistics. Children don’t have jobs or own houses. They don’t buy durable goods, or invest in the stock market. But obviously, investments in their well-being are critical to a nation’s economic future.

For several years now, Komlos and other researchers have been trying to figure out exactly why the United States fell behind. How could the wealthiest country in the world, during the most robust economic expansion in its history, simply stop growing?

“It’s absolutely fascinating,” said Eileen Crimmins, a demographer at the University of Southern California. “Maybe we’ve reached the point where we’re going to go backwards in height.”

Like many human traits, an individual’s height is determined by a mix of genes and environment. Some experts put the contribution of genes at 40%, some at 70%, some even higher. But they all agree that aside from African pygmies and a few similar exceptions, most populations have about the same genetic potential for height.

That leaves environment to determine the differences in height between populations around the world, specifically the environment children experience from the moment of conception through adolescence. Any deficiency along the way, from poor prenatal care to early childhood disease or malnutrition, can prevent a person from reaching his or her full genetic height potential.

“We know environment can affect heights by three, four, five inches,” said Richard H. Steckel, an Ohio State University economist who has also done research on height trends in the United States during the 19th century.

The earliest stages of life are the most important to the human growth machine; at age 2 there is already about a 70% correlation between a child’s height and his or her eventual adult stature.

All of this means a population’s average height is a very sensitive indicator of its most vulnerable members’ welfare.

Not surprisingly, rich countries tend to be taller simply because they have more resources to spend on feeding and caring for their children. But wealth doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a society will give its children what they need to thrive.

In the Czech Republic, per capita income is barely half of what it is in the United States. Even so, Czechs are taller than Americans. So are Belgians, who collect 84% as much income as Americans.

And those height differences translate into real benefits. A number of studies have shown that disease and malnutrition early in life — the same things that limit a person’s height — increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease and other life-shortening conditions later on. Though tall people are more likely to get cancer, they suffer less mortality overall than short people.

International statistics bear it out. Life expectancy in the Netherlands is 79.11 years; in Sweden it’s 80.63. America’s life expectancy of 78.00 years puts it in somewhat shorter company, just above Cyprus and a few notches below Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Obviously America is not doing badly. It’s not at the level of developing nations,” Komlos said. “But it’s also not doing as well as it could.”

His latest research paper, published in the June issue of Social Science Quarterly, suggests the blame may lie with America’s poor diet and its expensive, inequitable health care system.

“American children might consume more meals prepared outside of the home, more fast food rich in fat, high in energy density and low in essential micronutrients,” wrote Komlos and co-author Benjamin E. Lauderdale of Princeton University. “Furthermore, the European welfare states provide a more comprehensive social safety net including universal health care coverage.”

In the United States, by comparison, an estimated 9 million children have no health insurance.

Komlos’ most recent data indicate a small uptick in the heights of white Americans born between 1975 and 1983, a suggestion that the gap may finally be closing. But there has been no similar increase among blacks, a suggestion that inequality may indeed play a significant role in the height gap.

In another recent paper, Komlos and Lauderdale also found height inequality between American urbanites and residents of suburbs and rural areas. In Kansas, for example, white males are about as tall as their European peers; it’s big cities like New York, where men are about 1.75 inches shorter than that, that drag America’s average down.

Now Komlos has started comparing the heights of children to determine at what age Americans begin falling behind their peers across the Atlantic. Not surprisingly, he sees a difference from birth, an observation that suggests prenatal care may be significant contributor factor to the height gap.

But it is unlikely that Komlos will ever find one simple factor to explain why Americans have fallen behind other rich countries in height. In all likelihood it is caused by a combination of things — a little bit health care, some diet, a sprinkling of economic inequality.

“In some ways it gets to the fundamentals of the American society, namely what is the ideology of the American society and what are the shortcomings of that ideology,” Komlos said. “I would argue that to take good care of its children is not part of that ideology.”

Whether that’s true is debatable; the height gap doesn’t measure how much Americans love their children. But at a minimum it does indicate — in raw feet and inches — whether the nation is giving its youngsters what they need to reach their full biological potential, or selling them short.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Height of Success

December 5, 2008

By SCOTT STOSSEL
Published: November 5, 2006

SIZE MATTERS

How Height Affects the Health,

Happiness, and Success of Boys —

and the Men They Become.

By Stephen S. Hall.

388 pp. Houghton Mifflin. $26.

To the many indignities visited upon shorter than average males — lower incomes, disadvantage in mate selection, cut rates for their deposits at the local sperm bank, long odds of making the N.B.A. — has now been added this one: short people are stupider than tall people. That’s the finding of a recent study by two Princeton economists who conclude, painfully for those of us who are south of 5 feet 9 inches, that the reason taller people make more money is that they are smarter.

That finding was published too late to make it into Stephen Hall’s provocative book, but it’s in keeping with the litany of obstacles arrayed against short men that he documents in ”Size Matters.” Consider the very word ”stature.” Its primary definition refers to physical height, but it can also connote everything from presence and charisma to virtue and importance; on a metaphorical level, height and worthiness of esteem are linked in the human mind. ”Nobility of soul accompanies tallness of body,” wrote one 18th-century German physician, reflecting the conventional wisdom of the time. Repeated studies in the modern era have shown that people unconsciously ascribe positive qualities to the tall: in addition to being deemed more intelligent, tall people are automatically considered more likable, more dependable and more commanding. It seems that benefits accrue to the tall beginning almost from birth, and then keep accruing, leading to what is, generally speaking, a society where the tall lead and the short follow — an ”altocracy,” as Hall puts it. Only 3 of 43 American presidents — James Madison, Benjamin Harrison and Martin Van Buren — have been under 5 feet 7 inches, and it is well known that the taller of two presidential candidates usually wins the election.

The association of height with cultural desirability and even existential value has deep historical roots. The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in the first century A.D., associated height with both strength and moral virtue. Drawing on Tacitus and his successors, King Frederick William of Prussia became obsessed with recruiting — and breeding — an army of behemoths in the early 1700’s. His so-called Potsdam Giants regiment was led by a man reported to be over 7 feet tall, and included at least one mercenary well over 8 feet; none of the Giants were under 6 feet. (James Tanner, the dean of human growth studies, has observed that this was probably the tallest group of men assembled before the advent of professional basketball in America.) Other militaries emulated Frederick (taller soldiers had longer strides, could thrust their bayonets farther, and had an easier time reloading their long rifles) and Hall argues that it was at this point in history — when tall soldiers were more coveted than shorter ones — that the market (and moral) value of height first became institutionalized.

As a man of a mere 5 feet 5 and three-quarters inches himself, Hall is on something of a quest, seeking not just to understand the science and culture of stature but also to come to terms with what the cartoonist Garry Trudeau has called his ”inner shrimp” — that distinctive ”I’m smaller than the rest of the world so I hope I don’t get beaten up” outlook that is imprinted at an early age and never dispelled, no matter what our final adult heights. Mixing traditional science reporting with personal anecdote, Hall ranges widely across popular culture and the scientific literature to explore such issues as what the average height of a population can reveal about culture and society (Why are the Dutch so tall? And why are Americans becoming relatively shorter?), and how the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of human growth hormone as a ”treatment” for undersize children in 2003 changed the politics and science of height. Here’s an interesting philosophical question: If what matters psychologically is relative height, by treating short children with growth hormone, aren’t we creating a whole new class of undersize ”victims,” the untreated kids they surpass in height? Have we launched an arms race of avoiding shortness? If so, it’s not hard to understand why. As Hall puts it, height matters because ”it clearly has an impact on social perceptions, romantic interactions, workplace hierarchies and our self-perception long after we’ve stopped growing.”

Article continues here: NY Times

Height Matters, Wikipedia says so

December 4, 2008

According to Wikipedia, height makes a difference in determining a woman’s level of attractiveness in males.

Height

Female’s sexual attraction towards a male can be partly determined by the height of the man.[7] Women seem more receptive to an erect posture than men, though both prefer it as an element of beauty; this fact appears correlated to the preference for males who demonstrate confidence, physical strength, and a powerful bearing. This preference can be explained by evolutionary psychology as the fact that ancestral women who were attracted to tall, physically powerful men benefited from better protection and therefore gained evolutionary fitness.[8] Additionally, height in men is associated with status in many cultures, which is beneficial to women romantically involved with them. This preference was passed on genetically. As a corollary, short men are viewed as unattractive for both casual and intended long-term relationships. Studies of women’s personal ads support the existence of this preference; in one study of ads requesting height in a mate, 80 percent requested a height of 6 feet or taller. However, this percentage only was of ads specifying height in the first place, and therefore possibly self-selected and/or biased by a third factor such as female height.[8]

Recent research has found that women are statistically more likely to be attracted to men of average height when looking for long-term commitment, while the opposite is true when a short-term relationship is intended.[9] Cosmopolitan Magazine published an article stating that women are most attracted to men who are 1.1 times their own height. In addition, it was found that women have these different preferences for height depending on the phase of their menstrual cycle at the time. While women usually desire men that are at least the same height as themselves or taller, other factors also determine male attractiveness.[9] To read the entire Wiki on Attractiveness click here…

Limb lengthening tests human will power

December 2, 2008

Patients endure unimaginable pain
for a few inches

Growing pains
Christy Ruhe stood 4-foot-3 before choosing to undergo a leg-lengthening process that broke her bowed legs, then stretched and straightened them to make her seven inches taller.
See pictures from her painful, but gratifying experience.

By Gretchen Parker, AP

Limb-lengthening surgery is controversial among dwarfs, and it is painful. Still, many choose to undergo the bone-breaking and difficult therapy to gain inches in height. One patient who made this decision, Christy Ruhe, allowed an Associated Press reporter and photographer to closely follow her two-year progress. This is her story.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The tiny, silver BMW roadster slides out of the garage and zips toward the freeway. Christy Ruhe adjusts the rearview mirror and rests one hand on the steering wheel. The car, her dad’s, is a perfect fit. She looks like she’s been driving it forever.

Two years ago, she couldn’t have reached the pedals.

Christy recently finished a procedure that surgically broke her bowed legs, then stretched and straightened them, an agonizingly painful ordeal that would leave even her questioning how much she could endure.

Once 4-foot-3, she’s now just 2 inches shy of 5 feet tall.

She had always craved just a few more inches. Enough to drive any car and pump her own gas, or reach the pedals under the piano. Practical things, but seven inches would accomplish so much more.

To understand why Christy would put herself through the grueling surgeries and therapy is to understand a spirit determined to be as independent as possible.

Continue reading this story at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4242093/