• 20Jul

    Lately, my 14-year old daughter has been obsessed with gaining a few inches in height.  At 13.5 years old, she stands at about 155 cm in height while I stand at 158 cm.  My height is sufficient to get me into Malaysia Airlines for a flight stewardess job when I was 22 years old but I gave up the ambition of my dreams.

    In my daughter’s class, most of her classmates are at least 158 – 165 cm in height.  That’s tall for 14-year old Asian girls.  To be fair to my daughter, she is one of the youngest in her class and she is only 13 years old. She’s a December child.  We still have hope that she will still grow taller!

    In her quest to gain that few inches extra in height, she skips the rope everyday, about 1,000 – 3,000 skips each time. She plays tennis, takes part in all the jogathon and half marathon organized by her high school, runs and goes to the gym occasionally.  Her grandma would cook peanut root soup occasionally, known among the Chinese old folks to boost growth in height.

    After about a year now skipping regularly and drinking peanut root soup and seeing not much significant spurt in her height, my daughter is now a tad discouraged. She does not jump as much as she used to and tells me dejectedly that jumping does not help her to grow taller.

    Young woman skipping rope during sunny morning on stadium track

    Girls grow at a quick pace throughout infancy and childhood. When they reach puberty, growth increases dramatically again. Girls stop growing and reach adult height usually between the ages of 14 or 15 years, or a couple of years after menstruation begins.  As my daughter is still 13 years old, she still has a glimmer of hope to grow taller! Keeping our fingers crossed!

    Genetic Factors

    A big factor that determines your height is genetics. If your parents are both short, that does not mean that you will also have the same fate! Height is influenced by ranges of genes and if there are members in your family tree who are actually tall, you also have a chance to acquire that gene! Hormones such as testosterone in men also affect height.

    My husband and I are not very tall. We are of normal height for Asians.  From my husband’s side, his late father was very tall while his mother is of normal height. Of his 4 sisters, 3 of them are very tall and only one sister is of normal height. My husband is the shortest of the 5 of them.

    How does puberty affect growth?

    Girls typically have a growth spurt in the 1 to 2 years before menstruation starts. For most girls, the growth spurt starts between the ages of 10 and 13. They then grow just 1 to 2 inches more in the year or 2 after getting their first period. It’s during this time that they reach their adult height.

    Most girls reach their adult height by age 14 or 15. This age could be younger depending on when a girl first gets her period.

    What’s the average height for girls?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the median height for adult women over 20 years old is 63.8 inches, or just under 5 foot 4 inches. The average height at the earliest start of puberty is around 50 inches, so that’s a lot of growth during a short period of time.

    The following information comes from the CDC:

    Age 50th percentile height for girls
    8 127.5 cm (50 in.)
    9 133 cm (52 in.)
    10 138 cm (54 in.)
    11 144 cm (56.5 in.)
    12 151 cm (59.5 in.)
    13 157 cm (62 in.)
    14 160.5 cm (63 in.)
    15 162 cm (64 in.)
    16 162.5 cm (64 in.)
    17 163 cm (64 in.)
    18 163 cm (64 in.)

    The above chart is for American girls. Asian girls are genetically shorter and smaller built than their Western counterpart.

    Can I grow taller after puberty?
    There is very little evidence to suggest that people can grow taller after puberty. Humans usually grow faster as infants and toddlers. They also grow significantly as growth spurts hit during puberty.

    What are growth spurts?

    Growth spurts is a term used for a rapid increase in height and weight which typically occurs during puberty. In their teens, kids put on an amazing growth to reach their final adult height. This phenomenal growth starts at the outside of the body and works in. Hands and feet are the first to expand. Needing new shoes is the first sign of experiencing growth spurts. Next, arms and legs grow longer. Finally the spine grows. The very last expansion is a broadening of the chest and shoulders in boys, and a widening of the hips and pelvis in girls.

    What kind of a diet can help increase my height?
    A nutritious diet that includes fruits and vegetables, dairy, cereals, meat and plenty of water will aid the natural process for enhancing height.

    Does sleep help human growth?
    Getting proper sleep is vital for the growth hormones to perform its function effectively. Not getting enough sleep can lower the amount of growth hormones your body produces.

    My daughter is a night owl. She only gets 5-6 hours of sleep on school-going days (despite my constant nagging at her to sleep early), which is way insufficient for the recommended 9-10 hours for them to function optimally.  Studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep.

    Can stretching exercises help me gain height?
    Some stretching exercises can help increase the height enhancing process during puberty. After puberty the stretching exercises can still help correct a person’s posture. You’ll be surprised by how much of Height is hidden behind your slouched back. You can, at any age, add an inch or two of height by simply improving your posture.

    Girls may gain a foot or more in height from childhood through puberty. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly are all things that can help them grow in a healthy way.

    Thankfully, my daughter has not faced heightism in school. What she and I dislike are relatives comparing her height with her taller cousins of the same age as her *roll eyes*

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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