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« "Save A Mother": Annual Appeal | Main | Cultural heritage: language, literature and politics »

April 26, 2011


Very interesting analysis. Despite excellent nutrition and relatively tall parents by Indian standards (5'11" and 5'5"), my sister and I beat the altitudinal odds. I guess a pair of short grandmas are to blame:-)

This may be of interest too
It seems that there will be much discussion on these topics.

Interesting. Ruchira's grandma comment raises a point, which is that the genetic contribution may be from elsewhere than directly from the parents. A friend, the moderately short (maybe 5'1") daughter of a very tall Polish-American man and extraordinarily petite (maybe 4'9") Japanese-American woman, married a very tall (over 6') Anglo-American man, but has an entirely healthy and well-fed 3 year old daughter who nonetheless barely measures in the first percentile on American growth charts. I always wonder if the child's grandmother wasn't a similar size at the same age.

The growth of babies in utero and the first trimester that Omar references is an extraordinary thing. Holding my whopper of a 9 month old-- 90th percentile for height at his check-up last week (60th or so for weight)-- I frequently marvel that he fit inside my body less than a year ago. Like most kids, he'd doubled his weight well within the first three months of birth that pediatricians sometimes refer to as the "fourth" trimester, and he's now 50 percent taller than he was at birth. Given that rapid rate of growth, it's easy to imagine how the uncertain availability of food that my grandparents faced in their firs years of life might account for any difference between their ultimate height (though my grandfather, although profoundly poor as a child and sick until his early death, was nonetheless 6' tall) and my son's.

To clarify-- obviously, the genetic contribution is from the parents, in the literal sense...I meant might have been expressed elsewhere than by the parents.

For you, Anna- you will be someday in my shoes :-)
My son is still about a couple of inches short of the 6 foot mark, though his hair probably gives him an extra inch, it doesn't really count at the doctor's office.
My daughter, at age 10, is now barely up to my chin. Everyone now exclaims at her height,telling her "Oh my, you've grown!", something that I can't see for seeing her daily.Despite her being in the solidly 25th percentile range for height, she is likely going to be an inch or two taller than me (I'm about 5'4").

A lovely post, Sujatha. And yes, at least my son may be in your son's shoes-- he was the same length as your son, at birth, and is already up to 18-24 month old sizes in both pants and shoes.

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