Will children who consume calcium-rich milk attain greater heights?

March 17, 2024 | 03:09 pm PT
I’ve heard that providing children with calcium-enriched milk contributes to superior height growth. Is this true? (Hong, 29, Ho Chi Minh City)


Currently, numerous families emphasize the selection of milk for their offspring, focusing on its richness in DHA and calcium, which are believed to support growth in stature.

Nonetheless, the notion that milk alone can significantly enhance a child’s height is, indeed, a fallacy. Moreover, when children receive adequate calcium and energy as per the recommended dietary needs, and yet families continue to excessively encourage milk consumption, it can result in diminished appetite, psychological distress, and other adverse outcomes.

A child drinking milk. Illustration photo by Pexels

A child drinking milk. Illustration photo by Pexels

In fact, the factors influencing height growth are multifaceted, including genetics and environmental conditions. The stature of the parents also plays a role in determining the height of their offspring. Moreover, children who are fully immunized, receive proper nutrition, and experience fewer illnesses tend to develop optimally and, as a result, can achieve a more considerable height. Additionally, consistent physical activity stimulates the growth plates at the ends of the long bones, promoting bone growth and an increase in stature.

These factors should be harmoniously balanced and executed in a cohesive manner. It is also crucial for parents to regularly monitor their child’s growth in weight and height based on the growth chart standards set forth by the World Health Organization.

Dr. Duong Cong Minh

Director of the Department of Nutrition - Prevention, City Children’s Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City

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