Category Auxology

Full Growth Potential

In 1997 the World Health Organisation undertook a comprehensive review of child growth references. It stated: ‘We now have scientific evidence proving that infants and children from geographically diverse regions of the world experience very similar growth patterns when their health and nutrition needs are met. This provides us with a crucially important and scientifically [...]

Thumbs Up for Teens.

We don’t yet know why but it seems younger mothers have shorter baby’s. A recent study in New Zealand assessed whether increasing maternal age would be associated with changes in height, body composition, as well as lipid and metabolic profiles in childhood. The age of women having their first child has increased considerably over the past decades. [...]

The Tall Dutch

The Dutch are the tallest people in the world: its women stand almost 1.71 metres (5.6 feet) tall, and its men 1.84 metres. But how the Dutch became the world’s tallest people is still debated. Now a Dutch scientist, Gert Stulp, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that tall Dutch men [...]

Catch-Up Growth

Catch-up growth is the accelerated growth of an organism following a period of slowed development. Such slowing down is most often the result of environmental influences such as food scarcity, sudden changes in temperature, or other environmental stress factors. After the situation is normalised, growth not only returns but speeds up to compensate for lost [...]

The Hayflick Limit

In 1961 microbiologist Leonard Hayflick demonstrated that a population of human fetal cells in a cell culture will divide approximately 50 times before they stop. With each cell division in our body the ends of our chromosomes, the telomeres, get slightly shorter. This process continues until they shorten to a critical length, appropriately called the Hayflick limit. At this point the cells [...]

Force-Feeding Milk

On the occasion of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s World Milk Day the Thai Ministry of Health’s director-general Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk revealed an ill conceived plan to boost Thai’s youth milk consumption from 14 to 60 litres per year. The reason for this? To  increase the average Thai male height from 167cm to 175cm and [...]

The Raw Tom Outrage

Tom Watkins is a 15 year old kid from Amsterdam that’s being raised by his mother on a Raw food vegan diet. Raw foodies eat uncooked, unprocessed organic foods as a large percentage of the diet. The idea is that raw food is healthier than cooked food because it doesn’t destroy nutrients and doesn’t contain as many [...]

Supercentenarians

There’s an undisputable relationship between longevity and height. Short people live longer. Accordingly, most supercentenarians (people of 110 years and older)  are relatively small, and not because they shrink with age. Here are some heights versus age at death of prominent supercentenarians.
1.Jeanne Calment 149,9 cm, 122 yrs and 164 days
2.Sarah Knauss 139,7 cm, 119 and [...]

Parental Height Minus 10

In an exiting paper by S. Matthew Liao,  Anders Sandberg, and Rebecca Roache, it is argued that human engineering may well be a reasonable tool to achieve a sustainable relationship between the planet and its human population. One of their more intriging suggestions is the possibility to control height through Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This specific form [...]

Auxology Update

Auxology is the highly multi-disciplinary science that studies all aspects of human physical growth. It includes such diverse fields as economics, medicine, nutrition, and anthropology. Auxologists could, and perhaps should, play a key role in inspiring the cultural shift needed in order to accomplish a smaller mankind. However, most auxologists seem rather attached to the old [...]