Mom's Java Influences Childs Height


The tallest people in the world are in the Netherlands. In the US, the average height for men 20 years and older is five foot nine and for women, it's about five three. But heights vary across the world and even though American men have grown by nearly two inches over the last century, a new study shows even modest amounts of caffeine during pregnancy can produce shorter children.

Eighty percent of pregnant women consume caffeine! A regular cup of coffee has about one hundred twenty milligrams of caffeine which is below the USDA recommended level of two hundred milligrams a day. But add a second cup or tea, soda or chocolate and you're at that level. The thing is you don't have to get there for the child to be affected.

Two studies followed twenty-four hundred pregnant women and their children. They found children of women who consumed even low amounts of caffeine were shorter than those whose mothers did not. How much shorter? Well, children of women who consumed the highest levels of caffeine were more than 1/2 inch to almost an inch shorter at age 7 to 8.

Other factors also impact height: genetics, nutrition, and certain hormones. Malnutrition also limits height. The Human growth hormone is affected by sleep patterns during childhood. And as many as twelve thousand gene variants may affect height. So much cultural capital is placed on height that there are reports of people using surgery to extend their leg length. Obviously, that's extreme but optimizing your height through good nutrition and enough sleep, that we endorse.

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