Why You May Not Be Growing Taller: Debunking Common Myths

by   |   Mar 14, 2024

The concern over an individual’s growth during their crucial formative years is a matter that resonates deeply with both parents and teenagers alike. These developmental stages, encompassing childhood and adolescence, are pivotal in determining the height one will ultimately reach. It is a period filled with anticipation, yet also with apprehension, as the worry of not attaining one’s full stature looms large. This concern, deeply ingrained within us, is often a consequence of societal beauty standards that include an ideal height.

In the pursuit of this universal desire for greater height, it is astonishing how many individuals unknowingly engage in behaviors that may inadvertently hinder their growth, thereby thwarting their height potential. To avoid falling into this unwitting trap, let us delve into seven compelling reasons why some individuals fail to achieve their full height.

Ignorance of Growth Spurts

Every human experiences three distinct periods of growth spurts:

  • Fetal Period: In the nine months of pregnancy, a well-nourished mother who gains 10-20 kg can ensure her child’s birth at a healthy 50 cm in height and over 3 kg in weight.
  • Neonatal to Three Years: During the first year of life, a child’s height can increase by 25 cm, followed by an annual growth of 10 cm in the subsequent two years, provided they receive proper nurturing. While you have no control over your height during these periods, the ultimate determinant of your height rests within your grasp during the third phase.
  • Puberty: Occurring between ages 12-18 in boys and 10-16 in girls, puberty brings about a rapid height increase of 8 to 12 cm per year when coupled with proper nutrition and healthcare. The exact timing of this growth spurt remains uncertain, making it imperative to ensure adequate nutrition throughout this phase to optimize growth. Although some height growth is still possible post-puberty, it happens at a painfully sluggish pace, yielding negligible results.


It is a myth that you can no longer grow taller after puberty; yet, post-pubertal height growth would occur slowly and require heavy external influences such as exercise, diet as well as height growth supplements.

Excessive exercise

Although exercising is one of the best ways to increase height, it should be practiced moderately and appropriately depending on individual physical conditions. Excessive exercise should accordingly be avoided at all costs as it results in adverse effects on both your overall health and height development. In fact, excessive exercise will cause bone injuries and bone sequelae, which eventually slows or even stunts your height growth.

Indulgence in fast food and/or carbonated drinks

Not growing as tall as your peers, it’s time to peep into your lunch box. Eating fast food or junk food regularly has negative impacts on children’s and teenagers’ health to a large extent, from making them sluggish in the classroom to stunting their growth. Besides, junk food is a major cause of obesity, which in turn hinders the height gain process for children and teenagers.


Carbonated drinks, on the other hand, is an accomplice with fast food in slowing or stunting height growth. The air bubbles in carbonated soft drinks increase urinary calcium excretion and would lead to calcium deficiency in the body, thereby adversely affecting height growth in young people and increasing the risk of bone and joint diseases among the elderly.

Furthermore, how many times has drinking carbonated drinks made you feel full? Indeed, the amounts of sugar and carbon dioxide in these drinks engender abdominal fullness, which possibly causes anorexia and nutritional deficiency in children and teenagers. In addition, carbonated drinks are detrimental to the functions of various organs in the body and your general health, including tooth decay, digestive disorders, destroying tooth enamel, and damaging the gastric mucosa.

Lack of essential nutrients

The increasingly busy lifestyle barely leaves parents with time to cook for their families and forces them to resort to fast food or highly processed foods, the major reason for teenagers’ and children’s growing reliance on these unhealthy meals.

What results from this eating habit is nutritional imbalance that deprives the body of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber whereas the amounts of harmful substances like saturated fat and food additives become excessive. This is responsible for stunted growth in children, weakened immune system, and smaller stature compared with their peers.

We all know that nutrition plays as important a role as genetics in determining how tall you will become. As a result, building a nutritious diet for children and teenagers is of vital importance. A healthy nutritious diet should include 4 essential nutrients, namely proteins, fat, vitamins, and minerals. In particular, proteins and fat generate energy for the body while vitamins and minerals help different functions within the body work effectively, thus stimulating height increase.

Staying up late

Have you ever stayed up until 3 a.m. to binge-watch your favorite TV shows? If your answer is yes, here’s some bad news for you. Staying up late over a period of time is directly linked with poor height growth. Generally, it is during sleep, usually from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., that the pituitary gland secretes growth hormone at peak levels.

Staying up late means that you rob your body of a large amount of growth hormone to grow taller. To avoid this, it is advisable that you get into the habit of sleeping early, preferably before 11 p.m., during your growing years to maximize your height growth.


Sedentary lifestyle

That the current educational conditions and living space are getting narrower facilitates a sedentary lifestyle among children and teenagers in which they become inactive and opt for a book, video game, or movie instead of going out or playing sports. This lack of physical activities is another reason for stunted growth in children and adolescents.

To tackle this problem, parents need to encourage their children to play sports such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, football, yoga or jumping. Some household chores such as cleaning the house, washing clothes or dishes should be encouraged because they are a great way to trigger muscle activity and movement. Outdoor activities also help children absorb more vitamin D which enhances calcium absorption for bones.

Chronic stress

The last but not least reason why you cannot grow taller is chronic stress. Prolonged periods of stress because of work or school make the body severely exhausted, reduce bone density, and ultimately deter height gain.

In addition to stress, other psychological traumas when a child is mistreated or abused in the past also take a toll on their physical development. Therefore, children and teenagers need to be nurtured and educated in a healthy environment in order to achieve optimal physical and mental development.

Understanding the factors that contribute to the impediment of one’s natural growth process is a valuable knowledge that can empower individuals to overcome the challenges of attaining a shorter stature. By being mindful of, and subsequently rectifying, these detrimental habits while concurrently embracing a lifestyle that encompasses a well-rounded and nourishing diet, consistent physical activity, and an adherence to a regular sleep schedule, one can effectively foster the most favorable conditions for their height to flourish. In doing so, it is not only possible to reach but even surpass the predetermined genetic height potential that each individual possesses.

This article is shared by expert Jay Lauer – the admin of the website Howtogrowtaller.com, who has many years of experience working in the field of height growth.

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