7 Factors that Influence Height in Children

7 Factors that Influence Height in Children

Last update: 23 January, 2018

Many moms and dads are concerned about the factors that influence their child’s height. We constantly monitor their growth and make sure they get the right foods. In fact, parents often believe that a good diet is the only thing that will affect their child’s growth.

But this is not true. There are many factors that influence height, including genetics as well as several environmental conditions that are less well-known.

Factors that influence height


This is the factor that most parents know about. Genetics do directly influence how tall your child will grow up to be. In fact, it’s one of the strongest factors. So, if everyone in your family is tall, your children are likely to be tall, too. Height really does run in the family.


Girls are generally a few inches shorter than boys. There are other differences, too: boys have a slightly bigger head than girls, with a larger volume. Of course, this can vary among children, depending on the effects of genetics, and…

Environmental conditions

Conditions in our geographical surroundings can influence our height as well. For example, Scandinavian people are often very tall. In high-altitude areas, meanwhile, people tend to be shorter.

Just 6% of the world’s population lives above 1,500 meters above sea level.

7 Factors that Influence Height In Children

A good diet

Other well-known factors that influence height relate to our diet. From the time the child is in the womb until they become an adult, nutrition plays a key role in growth.

When we talk about a good diet, what we mean is eating healthily and getting all the vitamins our bodies need. It’s not about quantity so much as quality.

Eating very large portions can help kids grow – but outwards, not upwards. Getting the right balance of foods is more important for healthy growth.

Although genetics is one of the key factors that influences height in children, diet is also fundamental. We can see this in areas with high levels of deprivation, where children often don’t get the nutrients their bodies need. This brings consequences later in life, as their bodies fail to develop correctly.

Make sure that your child is getting the right diet to provide them with all the nutrients and vitamins they need. If they are not, now is the time to start.

Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is incredibly important to human beings, and even more so for children. The human growth hormone, known as GH or somatotropin, is more active at night, although it is also released in cycles every 3 to 5 hours during the day.


Physical activity stimulates the production of bone cells which help to grow strong, healthy bones. Sports such as basketball can help children to grow taller as well as keeping fit.

7 Factors that Influence Height In Children

Studies show that genetics is more influential than diet

According to studies, a child‘s height is determined 80% by their genes. The remaining 20% depends on factors such as nutrition and their environment, although more studies are needed to understand precisely what role they play.

The first gene for height was discovered in 2007, but researchers believe that thousands of genes and DNA may be related to height.

Another more recent study carried out by more than 300 medical institutions has identified over 400 genes that may influence height in human beings. This has more than doubled the amount of genes previously known to control height.

To get to these results, scientists analyzed genome data from a total of 253,288 individuals. They detected 627 variants in 424 different regions, all relating directly to height.



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.