Daily Health Tips: Is My Height Okay For My Age?


Q: Hello Dr, my height is 107.5. Is it ok for my age 29 years old?
 
A: Hello dear, thanks for writing in. Are you asking about your height or your weight? If the question is about your weight, then be guided by your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is a quick way to tell whether or not you might be underweight or overweight, and what health problems you might have or develop because of your weight.
 
It is actually a measure of weight to height. It is calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height squared in meters (that is height x height). Eg, if one weighs is 80kg and is 1.6m tall, the person’s BMI is 31.25. Different BMI readings have different meanings.
 
Here are 5 things you should know about your BMI
• If you’re under age 21, your age and gender need to be factored into your BMI to account for the different speeds at which guys and girls develop.
 
• If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are in the underweight category. Talk to your doctor to find out if your weight is a symptom of a medical problem. A registered dietitian can help you learn about healthy eating.
 
• If your BMI is between 19 and 24.9, you are in the recommended weight range for your height. But your health may still be at risk if you are not getting regular physical activity and practicing healthy eating. So, don’t start rejoicing just yet 🙂
 
• If your BMI is 25 to 29.9, you are in the overweight category. This may or may not be unhealthy, depending on some other things, like your waist size and other health problems you may have.
 
• If your BMI is 30 or higher, you’re in the obese category. You may need to lose weight and change your eating and activity habits to get healthy and stay healthy
Apart from your BMI, your waist measurement also plays a significant role in your health status. So, keep those tummies flat by eating healthy, y’all 🙂
 
If your question is about height, well, you may not really be able to do anything about it. A person’s final height is as a result of a combination of factors: genetics (if your parents are short, you are more likely to be short), nutrition (during the critical growing up years and especially before birth), general health and hormones (growth hormone, thyroid hormone and sex hormones). Having said these, there’s no hard and fast rule really, as some ‘short’ parents give birth to really tall kids! 😀
 
As I mentioned above, the fastest period of growth is experienced before the baby is born. Thereafter, another growth spurt is experienced during puberty with boys generally growing more than girls. During this period, the growth plates (areas of growing tissues located at the ends of long bones. These are the areas where bones grow) are very active until they end of puberty when they mature, fuse and stop growing. Once the growth plates are fused, growth has been concluded and height cannot be increased. There is no specific age at which this occurs really: people who start puberty early will probably stop growing before others who started later.
 
‘Normal’ when used to describe height can vary from place to place with differences in ethnic groups, cultures and continents. Sometimes, there may be a medical condition associated with height variations (short or tall statures), but most people are normal and just at the lower end of normal (for the short) and at the higher end of normal (for the tall).
 
If the cause of ‘shortness’ is a medical problem or a hormone deficiency, this can be rectified. For instance, if there is a deficiency of growth hormone, this may be administered. However, this can only be done in children…before the growth plates fuse (at about 14/15 years for girls and at about 16 years for boys). Once this has happened, no drug can increase height. Surgery in which the legs are cut apart and then gradually separated to increase height is an option, with attendant possible complications of infection and of course, fracture. Not really advisable.
 
Have a good night, y’all 😀
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