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Don’t you think the new generation is much taller than the previous generations? When you see adolescent children, you can’t help thinking, ‘I wonder if their parents are this tall,’ or ‘what do they eat and drink and how do they get so tall’. So, why did people grow so tall? How important is healthy eating in such an elongation of height? How much longer are they gonna be?

Scientists in the world. he says that as people’s eating habits and health have improved over the 21st century, their height has grown by almost 20 cm on average.

According to the BBC, a study conducted in the UK examined the genetic makeup of about 500 thousand volunteers using a database with people’s health and genetic information. According to research, it is said that the reason why people grow taller faster and enter puberty earlier today is due to a sensor in the brain. In other words, children whose brain receptor does not work well enough enter puberty later and are usually shorter in height.

It was known that some signals from the foods we consume that inform the nutritional status of the body and lead to physical growth are sent to the hypothalamus region inside the brain.

Thanks to this study, which was led by the University of Cambridge in the UK and published in the scientific journal Nature, the brain receptor that leads to this process was discovered. Here is this brain receptor called MC3R; the most important between the trio of food, reproduction and growth.


The author of the study said that this receptor sends a message to our body that “I am very happy and have access to plenty of food” and advises it to grow up, enter puberty and reproduce as soon as possible.

Similarly, another brain receptor called MC4R that has already been discovered by scientists controls appetite, and those with a lack of MC4R in their brain are usually obese.

The research findings will help children who have problems with the process of puberty and growth, and people who are weakened by chronic diseases.


Another article published in BBC Future mentions the research of professor of the University of Munich on human height change in history in the 1980s.

He investigated the connection of ups and downs in human height with economic and social conditions and revealed that ups and downs that occur over the years in human height are connected with nutrition and diseases. These two factors were influential in childhood. If the children were not fed enough, their chances of elongation were greatly reduced.

A professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, notes that improvements in nutrition, health, and general living conditions have lengthened a person’s height.

One of the most concrete examples of this happened after the plague epidemic in Western Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. Because of the epidemic, 60 percent of the population had perished. And the survivors, due to the abundance of nutrients, ate well and stayed away from diseases. As a result, people were starting to get taller.

It is known that in houses built in the 1800s, the doors and ceilings were shorter than usual. Comparing these structures, which are quite small compared to the average human height today, with our current houses, it is obvious that there is an obvious difference because the average height of people who lived in the XIX century, 20 it was shorter than people who lived in the XVIII century.

Stature growth stops when it reaches genetic limits. The most important factors determining whether to reach this limit are general health and eating habits. For example, children from poorer families can reach the height level from their family genes when they consume enough calories.


Turkish Medical Geneticist Associate Doctor says, since changes in the genetic structure of mankind can occur over hundreds /thousands of years, it seems that the lengthening of today’s height may be more dependent on environmental conditions such as nutrition. “To get food to facilitate opportunities to enhance the protein intake of the aforementioned conditions and adequate nutrition, particularly in developing countries, the height of the last of the human race gave up to the limit can increase the genetic structure of the hand can be seen in front of,” said, with increased intake of protein and nutritional conditions in the race reminded me that there is a significant size increase in recent years in the Far East.

Last 100-150 years, the average person’s height is about 10-20 cm long, usually until the age of 18 continued to grow during this time, a number of genetic as well as environmental factors affect how much a person stating that it could take longer green environmental factors is effective throughout the period of growth, all of that, however, stressed that the most sensitive period of infancy.

“In the presence of adverse environmental conditions, children’s physical growth may lag behind, and this may also affect the length of height they can reach in adulthood. Nutritional and protein intake deficiencies in particular are the most important environmental factors affecting height length in general. In addition, frequent diseases that occur in childhood, especially infections, can affect growth,”he stressed that the limit that a person’s height can reach is determined by the genetic structure, as well as by the fact that environmental conditions are positive or negative.


Pediatric Endocrinologist Prof. Dr. recalled that today there is a younger generation that is taller than 20-30 years ago, but obesity is increasing rapidly all over the world, as well as an improvement in height. Stating that this situation caused by lifestyle changes, easier access to nutrients, genetic and epigenetic changes is called the ‘trend of the century’, expressed the growth process in the following words in the light of scientific data.

“At the age of 16 in girls and 18 in boys, the growth plates are closed and the growth is completed. When evaluating the measurement of height and weight of children and young people, it is necessary to take into account the own reference values of that country. We cannot evaluate children according to the growth standards of 30 years ago. The average height values of the Turkish person are also changing, these reference values usually need to be updated every 10-20 years. According to current data, the average height measurements in Turkey are reported as 176 cm for men and 162 cm for women.”


So what factors affect the child’s height, other than genetics?

Assoc. Dr. “Although the hereditary characteristics found in our DNA are a very important determinant of height, some environmental factors, especially nutrition, hormones and medical conditions, also have a significant impact on the growth of the human body,”  said.

Mirage fat, 20 percent of that occurs due to reasons of pathological short stature, short stature, it was stated that the main cause of nutritional deficiencies and added: “in the first 3 years of problems in the transition to supplemental foods, vomiting, diarrhea, food allergies, such as iron deficiency anemia; the child’s appetite and nutrition of situations that affect the future, it may cause a loss of height. Chronic diseases, both the disease itself and the drugs used in the disease, as well as the nutritional deficiencies caused by it, can combine and lead to decaying growth. For example, asthma, allergic diseases, kidney diseases, anemia, celiac disease adversely affect growth.”

Assoc. Dr. he noted that scientific studies, especially conducted on twins, have shown that environmental factors affect the length of stature during adolescence and early adulthood.

Nutrition plays a very important role especially in growth, and not fed adequately nourished children, children who might not be as long as, he stated that, in addition to these, adequate and quality sleep and regular exercise in children and adolescents supports the positive growth and development said.


“Structural and genetic causes are responsible for 80 percent of short stature cases. The height of a child’s parents gives us an idea of that child’s height potential. We expect that the children of tall families will be taller, and the children of short families will be shorter,” said, explaining how to calculate the genetic height goal in children.

The value that we have determined as a result of adding 13 cm to the total height of the mother and father in boys and subtracting 13 cm in girls and dividing the resulting number by 2 is used to determine the genetic height goal. Usually missing or more than 5 cm of this number is considered an estimated genetic height. There may also be situations that develop outside this rule.


Assoc. Dr.  noted that genetic factors determine 80 percent of the length that a person’s height can reach as a result of scientific research conducted in recent years, and there are about 800 different gene variants that determine the length of height, and continued.

Normal height ranges are different for people from different ethnic backgrounds, where DNA is the main determinant. When the geographical-cultural regions (Europe, North America, Australia and East-Asia) were compared, the genetic variance was found to be highest in North America and Australia and lowest in East Asia. Therefore, it has been understood that height length is quite a hereditary trait nowadays.”

It is said that tall people generally live longer and are less likely to have heart disease. How true is that?

Assoc. Dr. there is no scientific data that taller people live longer if on the other hand, some diseases such as cancer was considered a little more for taller individuals since stated that this is not a scientific approach towards being more in life expectancy for tall people.

Doctor, he emphasized that environmental factors such as weight, nutrition, physical activity and some genetic diseases and predispositions that affect cardiovascular health are more important for heart diseases than being tall.

Prof. Dr. reiterates that nutrition, socioeconomic status, diseases and environmental factors are very effective in that the relationship between height and life expectancy can be considered as accidental, but not causal.


There are families that use special milks, vitamins, supporting products to increase the height of children. How effective are these products in lengthening? our question is answered by Prof. Dr. responded as follows:

“The main treatment approach is to determine the underlying cause of short stature and apply treatment to the cause. Only with vitamin therapy, the height will not increase. If there is a nutritional deficiency that will cause short stature in a child, intestinal absorption defects, chronic systemic diseases, nutritional support products and vitamin and mineral support provide height improvement.”

The importance that families who notice that the growth rate of their children is slowing down should follow up their growth with pediatricians who perform routine monitoring, and children who have a decline in height, observed or growth below the genetic potential should definitely be evaluated by a specialist in the subject.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


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Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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