Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nutr Rev. 2016 Mar;74(3):149-65. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv105.

Adult height, nutrition, and population health.

Author information

1
J.M. Perkins is with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. S.V. Subramanian is with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; and the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. G. Davey Smith is with the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. E. Özaltin is with the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. eozaltin@worldbank.org.
2
J.M. Perkins is with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; and the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. S.V. Subramanian is with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; and the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. G. Davey Smith is with the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. E. Özaltin is with the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA.

Abstract

In this review, the potential causes and consequences of adult height, a measure of cumulative net nutrition, in modern populations are summarized. The mechanisms linking adult height and health are examined, with a focus on the role of potential confounders. Evidence across studies indicates that short adult height (reflecting growth retardation) in low- and middle-income countries is driven by environmental conditions, especially net nutrition during early years. Some of the associations of height with health and social outcomes potentially reflect the association between these environmental factors and such outcomes. These conditions are manifested in the substantial differences in adult height that exist between and within countries and over time. This review suggests that adult height is a useful marker of variation in cumulative net nutrition, biological deprivation, and standard of living between and within populations and should be routinely measured. Linkages between adult height and health, within and across generations, suggest that adult height may be a potential tool for monitoring health conditions and that programs focused on offspring outcomes may consider maternal height as a potentially important influence.

KEYWORDS:

genetics; height; intergenerational; life course; morbidity; mortality; nutrition; population health; socioeconomic status; stature

PMID:
26928678
PMCID:
PMC4892290
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1093/nutrit/nuv105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center