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WHAT DETERMINES YOUR HEIGHT?

WHAT DETERMINES YOUR HEIGHT, achondroplasia, FACTORS INFLUENCING HEIGHT, genetic sequences, liposuction

Body height is something that people can be as concerned about as their weight. The height you reach as an adult is at least partly determined by genetics, in fact, some scientists believe that as much as 80% of our total height is determined by variations in our DNA (i.e. our genetic sequences).

There are genetic conditions that can lead to problems related to height; for example achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism related to a mutation of a particular gene called FGFR3. This mutation leads to a very short stature in adulthood.

FACTORS INFLUENCING HEIGHT

For most people, total height is determined by a multitude of environmental and genetic factors, and there is more than one gene that is involved.

This is because height is impacted by how our cartilage and bone grows and develops, which in turn is also influenced by hormones. Genes may impact these growth patterns but so can nutritional status and health.  Socioeconomic factors are likely to have an effect as well and a child that is malnourished is less likely to develop normally. In addition, children with certain illnesses may also not grow as tall as healthy children.

Babies born small for gestational age are also more likely to grow into smaller and shorter adults than are babies born in the normal range of body size (you can read more about this by visiting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15263821).

In some cases, there may be a lack of growth hormone leading to a child not growing normally. In these situations, a child may be given growth hormones to help them grow better and reach a more normal height. The growth hormone is made and secreted from the pituitary gland which is a tiny piece of tissue that is found in the brain. If diagnosed in time and treated, a child with a lack of growth hormone can grow to normal height.

ARE HEIGHT AND WEIGHT RELATED?

People who are taller naturally weigh more, which intuitively makes sense since they have more tissue in the body. Men also tend to weigh more than women at a particular height because males have more muscle mass than females. Of course, it is possible to weigh a lot because you have too much body fat. In those cases, people can take steps to lose weight by adjusting their diet and by increasing how much physical activity and exercise they do.

This can work, but for some people, it is also helpful to also have cosmetic procedures such as VASER liposuction, which can work well to remove stubborn fat that refuses to leave even though you have changed your lifestyle.

Today many doctors are concerned about childhood obesity because even though children are still growing, bad eating habits during childhood often translate into bad habits during adulthood. The concern is that even though these children will likely grow taller as they grow into adults, the weight gain will still outpace the gain in height. This then leads to obese adults with all the associated medical problems and the high cost to society in general.


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