By: Cher Sern Lim,

There was a time when most American children were expected to grow taller than their parents. Since the early 20th century, children and adolescents grew about an inch and a half taller every 20 years. But recent height measurements suggest that the average height of Americans has reached a plateau.

Data collected showed that the average height for Americans has stabilized in the past 50 years to about 5 feet 9 inches for men and 5 feet 4 inches for women. The reason is that most Americans now face few nutritional or health-related stresses in their youth. People experience the most height increase as infants and then as adolescents. Most Americans have avoided disease and eaten enough meat and milk in their youth to grow taller and reach their genetic height potentials.

While overall U.S. height averages have more or less stabilized, there are small pockets of the population where slight increases in height are likely still happening. Studies dating from the 1930s have demonstrated how a person’s environment and nutrition can directly affect a person’s height, size and dimensions.

Overwhelmingly, the children who had received adequate supplements in their youth grew taller and were even more successful throughout life. That�s just one of the benefits of being tall and maximising potential height increase.

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