Genetics play a large part in how tall a person is. Once a person reaches adulthood and stops growing, they will not become any taller, regardless of the food they eat.
For children and teenagers, however, nutrition plays an important part in making sure that they experience healthy growth and development.
Quite simply, people cannot control most of the factors that influence their height but good nutrition and overall health during growth and development in childhood and adolescence which play a part in how tall a person becomes, can be controlled.
In fact, a new global analysis led by the Imperial College London, and published in The Lancet journal, proves that children without good nutrition may not be as tall as children with adequate nutrition. The analysis states that poor nutrition in childhood years may have created a 20 cm height gap across nations.
Eating a balanced diet plays an essential role in growth and development during childhood. In fact, “without an adequate diet, children will not be as tall as they ought to be because they will be stunted. Asides stunting, there will be brain under development” says Dr. Chika Ndiokwelu, a senior lecturer at the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
According to Dr. Ndiokwelu, many Nigerian children are stunted, wasted and protein deficient due to poor dietary habits and lack of access to good food.
She added, “it has been shown that stunting is high in Nigeria. With the type of food crisis we have, it is becoming worse. Stunting is when a child has a low height for their age, usually due to malnutrition, repeated infections, and nutrition-related chronic diseases.”
“Also, we have wasting. Wasting is defined as low weight-for-height. It usually occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity and they have had frequent or prolonged illnesses. It is like being too thin because of the food crisis and economic crisis. As this happens, they will not be as tall as they ought to have been. If it continues and nothing is done, our future generation cannot compete at the community of nations because they’ve been stunted and have under developed brains.” Nigerian Tribune