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Human height is the distance from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head in a human body standing erect.
When populations share genetic background and environmental factors, average height is frequently characteristic within the group. In regions of extreme poverty or prolonged warfare, environmental factors like malnutrition during childhood or adolescence may account for marked reductions in adult stature even without the presence of any of these medical conditions. The average height for each sex within a population varies significantly, with men being (on average) taller than women. Adult height between populations often differs significantly, as presented in detail in the chart below. Depending on sex, genetic and environmental factors, shrinkage of stature may begin in middle age in some individuals but is universal in the extremely aged.
The measured sample may have been formed by inviting volunteers, rather than choosing people at random. The height of each person can change in the short-term depending on factors such as the amount of exercise done directly before measurement, or the time elapsed since lying down for a significant period of time.
Several of the studies allowed subjects to report their height, rather than being physically measured.
Sir Francis Galton's (1889) data showing the relationship between offspring height (928 individuals) as a function of mean parent height (205 sets of parents).
Height, like other phenotypic traits, is determined by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Moreover, the health of a mother throughout her life, especially during her critical periods, and of course during pregnancy, has a role. The Nilotic peoples of Sudan such as the Shilluk and Dinka have been described as the tallest in the world. Growth in stature, determined by its various factors, results from the lengthening of bones via cellular divisions chiefly regulated by somatotropin (human growth hormone (hGH)) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. At every visit to your pediatrician, weight, height and head circumference is measured to monitor the growth of the child.
Doctor's use different growth charts, CDC suggests that for children younger than 2 years old WHO charts should be used, whereas after 2, CDC charts should be used.
UK-WHO GROWTH CHARTS FOR CHILDREN AGED 0-4 YEARS – The new UK-WHO growth charts for children from birth to 4 years of age are now available. The UK–WHO growth chart combines World Health Organization (WHO) standards with UK preterm and birth data.

The UK-WHO charts are the recommended standard for infants in Scotland and England from May 11th 2009. About Harlow Printing LimitedHarlow Printing Limited was established in 1947 and is a major manufacturer and supplier of specialist products to both the public and private sectors. Accredited to both ISO 9001:2008 and 14001 you can be certain any products purchased from our company are manufactured to exacting quality and environmental standards.
Exceptional height variation (around 20% deviation from average) within such a population is usually due to gigantism or dwarfism; which are medical conditions due to specific genes or to endocrine abnormalities[1].
Women ordinarily reach their greatest height at a younger age than men, because puberty generally occurs earlier in women than in men.
For example, the average height of women from the Czech Republic is greater than that of men from Malawi. This decrease in height is due to such factors as decreased height of inter-vertebral discs because of desiccation, atrophy of soft tissues and postural changes secondary to degenerative disease. Growth has long been recognized as a measure of the health of individuals, hence part of the reasoning for the use of growth charts.
A child's height based on parental heights is subject to regression toward the mean, therefore extremely tall or short parents will likely have correspondingly taller or shorter offspring, but their offspring will also likely be closer to average height than the parents themselves. A healthier child and adult develops a body that is better able to provide optimal prenatal conditions. Human height is 60%–80% heritable, according to several twin studies[77] and has been considered polygenic since the Mendelian-biometrician debate a hundred years ago.[citation needed] The only gene known to have an influence on human height is HMGA2. Somatotropin also stimulates the release of another growth inducing hormone Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) mainly by the liver.
The reason of the measurement is to make sure that there are no big deviations from the recommended growth curve.
The chart from 2 weeks to 4 years of age is based on the WHO growth standard, derived from measurements of healthy, non-deprived, breastfed children of mothers who did not smoke.
Vertical growth stops when the long bones stop lengthening, which occurs with the closure of epiphyseal plates.
This may be caused by genetic differences, childhood lifestyle differences (nutrition, sleep patterns, physical labor), or both. For individuals, as indicators of health problems, growth trends are tracked for significant deviations and growth is also monitored for significant deficiency from genetic expectations.
Both hormones operate on most tissues of the body, have many other functions, and continue to be secreted throughout life; with peak levels coinciding with peak growth velocity, and gradually subsiding with age after adolescence.

All the parameters are examined at every visit and compared it with the recommended results.
The chart for birth measurements (32–42 weeks gestation) is based on British children measured around 1990. These plates are bone growth centers that disappear ("close") under the hormonal surges brought about by the completion of puberty. Genetics is a major factor in determining the height of individuals, though it is far less influential in regard to populations. Humans grow fastest (other than in the womb) as infants and toddlers, rapidly declining from a maximum at birth to roughly age 2, tapering to a slowly declining rate, and then during the pubertal growth spurt, a rapid rise to a second maxima (at around 11–12 years for female, and 13–14 years for male), followed by a steady decline to zero. Thus, there is an accumulative generation effect such that nutrition and health over generations influences the height of descendants to varying degrees. The bulk of secretion occurs in bursts (especially for adolescents) with the largest during sleep. The charts depict a healthy pattern of growth that is desirable for all children, whether breast fed or formula fed,and of whatever ethnic origin. Adult height for one sex in a particular ethnic group follows more or less a normal distribution. Average height is increasingly used as a measure of the health and wellness (standard of living and quality of life) of populations.[citation needed] Attributed as a significant reason for the trend of increasing height in parts of Europe are the egalitarian populations where proper medical care and adequate nutrition are relatively equally distributed.
On average, female growth velocity trails off to zero at about 15 or 16 years, whereas the male curve continues for approximately 3 more years, going to zero at about 18-20. Changes in diet (nutrition) and a general rise in quality of health care and standard of living are the cited factors in the Asian populations. These are also critical periods where stressors such as malnutrition (or even severe child neglect) have the greatest effect. Average height in the United States has remained essentially stagnant since the 1950s even as the racial and ethnic background of residents has shifted.

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