Paying For Height Is A Waste Of Money: The Many Benefits Of Being Short

The Benefits Of Being Short: Spending $300K For 3 Inches Is Ridiculous

There are many benefits of being short I'd like to discuss in this post.

I firmly believe being tall is overrated. Unless you are a basketball player, volleyball player, wide receiver, or tennis player, there's not much benefit to being tall.

I'm 5'10”, the average height in America. If I played in the NBA, I'd probably be listed at 6′.

When I was growing up in Kuala Lumpur and attending middle school, I would sometimes get comments about how tall I was. It was nice to hear, but I didn't think much of it until I stopped growing in the 8th grade.

My Tall Father

I clearly remember my dad making me feel bad for not being taller. At the time, he was 6′ 3″. Today he's closer to 6'1″. In another 20 years, maybe we'll be the same height so long as I continue to stretch. Haha.

Perhaps he was mad at my height because I didn't eat my entire lunch one Saturday before playing with my friends.

I remember telling my two friends how my dad thought I was too short. So they did what any good friends would do and pulled me like a tug-of-war rope to see if they could stretch me out!

To my father, my height was a disappointment. He made me think I was the one to blame. As a result, I ate as much as I could to grow taller. But it did not matter.

As a father to a son now, I find this whole height obsession strange. I'd never make my son feel bad about his appearance. After all, height is mostly genetically determined. The way our son looks is because of me and my wife!

We might have the ability to grow taller by an inch or so based on our diet, but that's about it. Further, it wasn't my fault that I grew up in Asia, where fatty foods and diary products were not common.

Paying $300,000 To Grow Taller

“Never criticize your wife's choices because you are one of them.”

On the way to the dentist, I listened to a podcast episode called “Small Things Considered” on This American Life about a bunch of well-to-do parents paying $300,000 to inject their children with human growth hormones (HGH). Their hope was for their kids to gain as much as three inches in extra height.

For the hormones to work, they needed to be regularly injected into the kid for years well before they hit puberty. This got me thinking about my past and about my son, who has a little over 10 years until he hits puberty.

Should I inject my boy with HGH too? He's likely going to stand between 5'7″ – 5'10” based on his growth percentile chart.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters). That’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall. So my boy has a decent chance of growing up average.

If we were to move to Asia, there's a good chance my son would be of average to above-average height. The table below includes 2016 data from the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. It shows average heights for men born between 1918 and 1996, and it’s based on an analysis of hundreds of population-based studies.

The average height for men across the world - The Many Benefits Of Being Short

Obsession With Being Taller Is Unhealthy

I was talking about the podcast episode with my dental receptionist when some random patient came up to me and asked me whether I was taking HGH to grow taller. He was about 5'9″ and I told him no.

He then told me that his son, at one years old, is in the 99th percentile for height (taller than 99% of other one-year-olds) and that he and his wife are seriously thinking about injecting their son with HGH.

I told him that made no sense and asked him why? He said, “Well, my wife and I are not tall, and we thought it would be nice to give him a leg up.”

I wanted to tell him off, but being at the dentist's office, I decided otherwise.

If you or your child are in the bottom 10th percentile for height, I can see why you'd consider taking or injecting your child with HGH. But if your child is already in the 99th percentile, you are nuts and need to read my following posts:

The parents in the podcast mentioned the following reasons why they were willing to pay so much money to treat height, as if it were some type of disease:

  • “Boost our son's masculinity”
  • Potentially face less bullying
  • Be taken more seriously by professional peers
  • Have a better love life
  • Superficial reasons
  • Athletics

As a personal finance site, I would be remiss to not mention a height and income study done back in 2004.

How Height Affects Income

According to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology (Vol. 89, No. 3), each inch above average may be worth $789 more per year. Due to inflation, perhaps the $789 figure is closer to $1,200 today.

The findings suggest that someone who is 6 feet tall earns, on average, nearly $166,000 more during a 30-year career than someone who is 5 feet 5 inches – even when controlling for gender, age and weight.

The height-salary link was found by psychologist Timothy A. Judge, Ph.D., of the University of Florida, and researcher Daniel M. Cable, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina. They analyzed data from four American and British longitudinal studies that followed about 8,500 participants from adolescence to adulthood.

Dr. Judge hypothesized the reason for the greater income may be that taller people may have greater self-esteem and social confidence than shorter people. In turn, others may view taller people as more leader-like and authoritative.

The Income Boost Is Minimal

I don't think earning $789 – $1,200 more a year per inch above average is statistically significant given the median household income is roughly $63,000 a year. What is significant for income is self-confidence.

Since the beginning of Financial Samurai in 2009, I've always encouraged readers to develop the right money mindset to get rich. Some people get mega-million dollar exit packages for blowing up their companies. Why can't you make a lot of money adding value to your company?

I've never felt like I've been at a disadvantage being 5'10”, probably because it's an average height. I meet people who are taller and shorter every day. My height had nothing to do with me getting into college or getting a job out of college. My height hasn't impeded me in achieving a top 1% tennis rating. Nor has my height limited me from growing Financial Samurai.

Instead, what mattered most were initially good grades, solid social skills, and an ongoing commitment to getting things done.

For those of you who are shorter than average, don't worry! Here are some positives of being shorter than average. After reading these reasons, I have a feeling more people would rather be short than tall!

The Many Benefits Of Being Short

1) Economy class feels like first class on an airplane.

2) Your knees don't get banged when the seat in front of you reclines.

3) Sitting in the back of an economy car feels like you're sitting in a limo.

4) You'll probably spend less on food.

5) You'll probably spend less on liquids.

6) Standard eight-foot-high ceilings at home feel just fine.

7) You won't bang your head on a door frame, a hanging lamp, or a low entryway.

8) You may experience fewer back problems given there's less strain on your back.

9) A full-size bed feels like a queen-size bed and a queen-size bed feels like a king-size bed.

10) There will be lower athletic expectations of you, making it easier to surprise on the upside.

11) Your professional opponents might underestimate you, making it easier for you to win and get ahead.

12) You won't stick out from a crowd.

13) Being short carries a reduced risk of contracting cancer, according to a study by the Karolinska Institute. Dr. Emelie Benyi, head of the research team, postulates, “One reason is that taller people have a larger number of cells in their body, which could potentially transform into cancer. It could also be that taller individuals have a higher energy intake which has previously been linked to cancer.”

14) Less likely to develop blood clots. After collecting data from 26,714 men and women, Dr. Sigrid Braekkan and his colleagues at Norway's University of Tromso discovered that taller people are two-and-a-half times more likely to develop VTE, or venous thromboembolism.

More Benefits Of Being Short

15) Shorter people encounter less stressful situations. Married men who stand below 5 feet 7 inches are 32 percent less likely to divorce their partner than grooms of average height, according to a 2014 New York University study. Shorter men are also less likely to get into fights or be antagonized – counter to what Small Man Syndrome may suggest. Less stress equals a happier life.

16) Shorter people have less chance of suffering from heat exhaustion because their surface area in proportion to body heat generated at rest allows him/her to lose heat more readily than taller people of similar body builds. As a result, shorter people can enjoy places of paradise for longer, like Hawaii.

17) Here's the best reason for being short: a longer life expectancy! Ever wonder why large dogs die quicker than smaller dogs? Ever wonder why massive human beings like Andre the Giant die in their mid-40s? Imperial College Professor Dr. Leroi explained that dwarf mice live up to 75 percent longer than regular mice due to deficiencies in IGF, an insulin-like growth hormone. This IGF deficiency is similar in shorter human beings.

Additional research by American Tom Samaras revealed that every extra inch of height shortens life expectancy by an average of 1.2 years. I'd much rather be two inches shorter than average and live 2.4 years longer.

The benefits of being short are plentiful!

Embrace Your Height And The Benefits Of Being Short

In this day and age, your height no longer matters. We're not out there wrestling with bears and picking fruit from trees every day. We're sitting at our desks all day doing God knows what!

Technology has also enabled us to more easily find love interests online, sortable by all sorts of variables including height. If you are short and desire short, there are millions of other short people looking for love too.

Finally, 99% of us are not going to become professional athletes, so our physicality doesn't really matter.

What matters most for getting ahead is developing knowledge and social skills. As a parent, you're much better off having a short child with superior EQ and IQ than vice versa.

If your child is tracking just below the average height percentile, spending $300,000 for the potential for your child to grow three more inches doesn't seem wise given we also don't know the long-term side effects of injecting HGH in an adolescent for so many years.

But as one of the dads, who is a doctor, joked on the podcast, “It's not my body who is getting the treatment, so no big deal!

Would you be willing to pay $300,000 for up to 3 inches of extra height for you or your children?

View Results

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Readers, anybody shorter than average? Did your height bother you growing up or affect you as an adult today? Would you pay $300,000 for the chance to grow three inches taller? What are some other benefits of being short which I haven't covered?

Related: How To Easily Give Your Kids A Leg Up Without Much Stress

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61 thoughts on “Paying For Height Is A Waste Of Money: The Many Benefits Of Being Short”

  1. If I want a taller kid I will rather use a tall egg donor and a surrogate mother process will cost around 100k.

  2. Reminded me of the old joke for finding a CEO in the US…gather and interview all candidates, collect all resumes meeting a minimum set of requirements, then select the tallest white guy from the acceptable candidates. I am 5 ft 7 and have been around the C-suites for several years and though I think we are making progress on the white and male elements (not necessarily enough, but some) no one addresses the height question….mind you I don’t consider myself short though I have occasionally gotten jokes…real short for males probably starts about 5 ft 4 and shorter, and there is definitely a workplace bias. Height bias is interesting because there are degrees, many other biases are a switch, you either are or aren’t something, with height the bias often seems to grow as your shorter…even the point where bias “begins” can be a reflection of the individual concerned. Just Fascinating…

  3. As person who was short his entire life (5′ 6″) it can be hard at times, but my parents really focused on working on my self esteem. Sports were particularly hard as a kid. Football and basketball are sports where height does matter. I went to football crazed high school, and not being a player was somewhat isolating. That is why my parent gently pushed me to golf and down hill skiing. These 2 sports there is a advantage of being short when you start out plus they are lifetime sports. Tennis is a another sport were height isn’t a huge advantage. Spending 300K to inject your child with a experimental and possibly dangerous drug is insane. Spend that money to make to give your children other advantages in life. Interesting and thought provoking article!

    1. I’m glad you focused on golf and skiing! There’s a sport for everyone!

      Tennis is great for short folks, as is softball, baseball, wrestling, track, and more. No limits!

  4. Doan Ngoc Duong

    Your height progress is interesting as you stop growing at 8th grade?! I believe boy start growing pretty late and keep going until 18-21 (especially basketball players). While girl start early and slow down around 14-16. I immmigrate to the US from Asia when I was 13, I probably was one of the shortest kids in class at that time around 4’8″. As I try to get talller, by playing sport every day (specifically basketball and a lot of jumping, thinking that will help extend my bones). Eventually I stop at 5’6, which is still shorter than average. I feel bad for those who get on plane that are average height or taller in economy class. It feel cramp for me as a 5’6 person, I dont know how they can handle it for long flights.

      1. Doan Ngoc Duong

        Well just be glad that height was the only beef your parent had with you. I find most Asian parent have high expectations for their kids : you’re not tall enough, not successful enough, not smart enough…a case of never having enough!

        1. Haha, true. But my mom is really chill and has encouraged me for many years to be happy with what I have and not to seek out money or material things.

          My dad is relatively chill as well. He likes to push me here in there but it’s all good. I personally need to take it down a notch.

  5. Hello, I am 6’4″ and I can see your point here but to me, being tall is usually a good thing and it works in my favor most of the time. The only thing that I don’t like about being tall (and wearing size 14 shoes) is that it’s very hard to find clothes that fit.

    As far as the life expectancies go, everyone on my father’s side is tall and they all reach very old age while being very healthy. I really don’t think height has anything to do with longevity of your life or with the divorce rates either.

    All that aside, I enjoy your blog very much and I have been reading it for a while now.

      1. Hi Sam, here are some examples: I can paint a ceiling without a ladder. I can change a lightbulb in my sleep. Everyone looks up to me (get it? :)),No one will ever try to steal my shoes. My kids can use my socks as sleeping bags. I can see further :) On a serious note though, while it might not be always practical to be tall, tall people are usually percepted as being stronger and more able and it just gives you a certain status. I would say this is not always true but people generally think that way anyway, and honestly, I am OK with that.

  6. I think the people who are paying $300k to pump drugs into their kids to make them taller are making the old statistical error of confusing correlation with causation.

    Our son is 6ft, a fair bit taller than my wife and me. Though that is obviously above average, in high school he steadfastly refused to say he was “tall”. That was because he went to a fancy private boys school with the scions of a lot of blue blood students and indeed many were taller than him. At the parent parties, I was also astounded by how tall people generally were.

    Of course, that is always the case in a group setting, it will attract a particular demographic rather than average. On the subway, I’m often one of the taller people in a car. I recall one experience which was instructive: jury duty. Looking at that large pool of people packed into the court house who were picked on a random basis, I saw a true average cross-section of heights, ages and ethnicities. That is rare in the city where we consciously or unconsciously choose who we associate with.

    So rich people do tend to be tall, but so what? Attaining wealth has to do with lots of factors, it just turns out that one of them is correlated with height. Wealth also happens to be very highly correlated with water skiing ability, because so many have recreational properties and their kids go to expensive summer camps.

    Does that mean that if you give your kids water skiing lessons they suddenly are going to magically become wealthy? Sorry, it ain’t that easy, they are better off reading Sam’s blog and learning a thing or two.

  7. The broader concern I have is how the efforts of parents to pave the path for their children can backfire – badly. Sometimes a little struggle is the key to success.

    But on height specifically, it feels dangerous to mess with Mother Nature. The long-term effects of HGH (when not medically required) could be bad. Perhaps you’re cursing your child with aches and pains they wouldn’t have had, or maybe you’re closing off certain sports or activities (e.g., soccer, track esp. distance, snowboarding, spelunking) where height is little or no advantage. There’s other ways to help your kid without the risk.

  8. Hi FS:
    What a great list for shorties! I’m only 5 ft 1 inches tall and your post made my day. I’m standing tall now. Proud to be fun-sized!

  9. I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t pay $300k to add three inches to my height. As a 5’5″ middle age male who is otherwise healthy, has a full head of hair, physically fit, financially successful with an and good looking in the face (lots of comments that I look like Tom Cruise), and a decent personality, I will say there is a lot of bigotry that goes on in the dating world so far as women’s selection towards men. Even here on this blog, we had one lady comment how she would not date a short guy. Height is perhaps the one area where it is still socially acceptable to be bigoted…and this is a largely unchangeable physical characteristic like race or color, unlike weight. And of course, you cannot “fat shame” anymore. Women will say they “just aren’t attracted to short guys,” and this is largely true. Being short as a male in the Western World is almost like being a leper, unfortunately.

  10. About the only time I think it might be nice to be taller is playing tennis when someone hits a low lob over me or a taller guy blows a cannon shot serve past me. I’m average height but I think 6’2″ to 6’5″ with the corresponding wingspan couldn’t hurt. Or at least as tall as Roger and Rafa at 6’1″. But I wouldn’t trade any of my brainpower for height, mad problem solving skills are much more monetizable.

  11. I’m 5’5”. I’ve endured a lifetime of good natured ribbing from my friends. Where I live most everybody is white, myself included. A little known fact is that the Dutch are wildly over represented in American farming communities. They also tend to be tall. Really tall. The fact that my mom was from Ireland pretty much sealed my fate. Lol. I don’t really remember it ever being that big a deal. At 55, I am pretty confident I have a significantly greater net worth than nearly everyone I know. Some of the larger landowners around here I’m certain have more than me but that would be about it. I married one of those people and my son is a solid 6’ which makes even him a little short in this area.

  12. I am a 5’0″ (on a good day) female. My husband is 5’5″. I think there is a big difference in being short as a female vs short as a male. I love being short. It’s always worked well for me. People underestimate me because of my size and it’s much easier to wow them when I show them how capable I am.

    I would like to mention our experience with HGH. When tracking children (birth to 18) on the gender-appropriate growth chart, doctors are looking to make sure that children stay close to their trend line. If a child has been on the 40% trend line and drops, that can be a sign of a problem.

    If a child is not reaching their genetic potential (there is a formula endocrinologists use for this), then that can be a sign of a problem.

    I have 8 children. Two of my children have not been where they should be on their trend lines. Both of them had their pituitary tested to see if it was producing enough HGH. One of them passed and is just going to be short (we’re hoping she’ll reach 4’11”). The other one “failed” the test. This means his pituitary was not producing enough HGH.

    The outward symptom of not enough HGH is the fact that he would be shorter than his genetic potential. But what is important to know is that inwardly there were more important things occurring. Because his body was not producing enough HGH, his organs and such weren’t growing as well as they should be.

    This child was given HGH injections for 3 years (after puberty started) and reached his genetic potential.

    Many people believe that getting HGH injections will make you taller than you otherwise would have been. This isn’t technically true. What HGH injections will do is make you reach the upper end of your genetic potential (which is a 4″ range).

    I would never put a child through daily injections and the related testing just to get a few extra inches in height. I would put a child through daily injections to make sure they are growing properly on the inside.

  13. TheEngineer

    Necessity is the Mother of the drive toward progress. These financially well-off family did not realize that they are choking their children survival of the fittest capability.

    I maxed out at 5’8” in junior high. At 135 lb, I got my butt whipped in 10th grade by two bullies.

    Accidentally watched “Way of the Dragon”, went to the gym and packed on 25 lb at the end of my freshman year – At 5’8”, 160 lb and 15% body fat no bullies ever put their hands on me since – and the girls were added bonus.

    Although I can physically stand toe to toe with most guys a foot taller than me, I don’t see myself physically labored through life for a living – went on to college and work on my brain/mind capability.

    It was the college education and the projected confidence that I can do the job better than the next guy that opened up opportunities – not my height.

    I have conducted hundreds of interviews with job seekers to assemble teams for project – I have never once care about their heights.

    If you are affluent in financial resources, DO NOT quench your children natural potential with money.

    Here is a suggestion – teach your children ETHICS, just in case he/she ended up with 5’3” frame like the North Korean leader. All the tall guys were on their feet running
    while he sat in the comfort of his limousine.

    1. Northandsouth

      He’s actually about 5’6.5″ or 5’7″ btw. Short but not 5’3″. Average South Korean young male is 5’9″ and average North Korean make would be likely taller if not for malnutrition.

  14. Some economics research suggests the wage premium for tall people vanishes when you control for teenage height. In other words, tall teens who don’t grow to be tall adults make more money, and short teens who become tall adults do not, suggesting the link has to do with confidence.

  15. Financial Freedom Countdown

    The use of HGH and testosterone supplementation is now quite common not just among people who compete in Body Building but also regular folks. I met a couple of folks in their late 30s who just walked into an Anti aging clinic and got the required “medication”.

    They mentioned benefits of better energy and focus and as a lifestyle hack. Was not about height for them

  16. You have the perfect ‘lifecycle’ cost calculation to do from this article. You need a follow up where you calculate the increase in earnings per inch against the loss in total income due to dying/working less years!!

  17. I always say I’m taller when I stand on my wallet. Several people that made an impression and influenced me growing up were nit tall. Being tall does not matter.

  18. As the 6-2 runt of the family, I feel fortunate to have been able to achieve some degree of success. With a 6-4 sister and father, and all cousins 6-5 and above I was feeling a bit short til I read this article. Turns out I may not be so runty after all.

    As for height contributing to advantages in career and life, I wonder how that compares between men and women. As I said, my sister is 6-3, about a foot above average and I don’t think it’s been a benefit. At what point does any real or perceived advantage start to diminish. I can’t imagine that being 7-0 as a man can be the advantageous unless you are a pro ball player.

    As it stands, I am glad to be 6-2 as it’s tall enough to stand out but not too tall to make doing everyday things a challenge.

  19. 7.5 billion people in the world. Half are women. Half are 5’4 and below. That’s 1.875 billion short women. So yeah definitely a numbers game.

    The better point here is that you earn more if you’re taller. I’m not sure that I think they’re not accounting for missing variables. I believe it has to do more with attraction. I could see a correlation with how attractive you are and earnings, but just being tall isn’t accounting for a lot of other things.

  20. In normal situations, I could not see myself injecting my kids with HGH. The only scenarios I could think of is if it would help them deal with a medical condition or if my kids have been diagnosed with dwarfism and HGH can get them to a more normal height. Neither situation pertains to us, but I could see myself considering it in certain situations.

    As a dad of two picky eaters, I probably sound a lot like your dad. I use the, “eat your meat or you are not going to grow” at least every other day. It’s an easy argument to make and I get them to eat a bit more. I’m 6’2″ and my kids are in the 90%+ in height. So, it’s not so much a height thing but more of a health thing and me wanting them to eat nutritious food.

    1. Curious if you feel bad that they are tall given the data on life expectancy and cancer and more illnesses for tall people?

      When it comes to height, I wanna be average. For all the reason Sam mentions and more.

      1. My son is tracking to be roughly my height (6’2″). Most of the guys in my family are around 6-6’2″ and we’re pretty healthy. Family trees are probably a better indicator of future health. I didn’t realize this correlation existed, but it’s not something I’ll be stressing about.

      2. I don’t think there is any reason to feel bad about your kids height if they are tall. Correlation does not always equal causation. These studies *may* show trends, but do not offer actual data as to how/why. I’m 6’8” and come from a family of most everyone well over the 6” mark. Family history of living well into our 80s. No family health issues.

  21. I am a 5’7 Asian woman. To me, height has always been important. I am just not attracted to short guys. My husband is 5’10 (but I wish he were 6’1) and when I wear my high heels during special occasions, I am the same height as him. Some people may think that height is superfluous, but I think it plays a huge role in one’s life.

    Having said that, I would not inject my kid with HGH b/c overall health is more important than height. Too many unknowns and possible long term side effects with synthetic injections. However, I would try to do everything possible naturally to ensure they have the best nutrition and chance at growing to their full genetic potential.

    For instance, in Matthew Walker’s book, Why We Sleep, he explains how the body naturally produces the most HGH around 7-9am(?), especially in kids. Therefore, the early start times at many schools, e.g. 8am classes, are detrimental to kids. Finding a school that starts later, like 9 or 9:30am will allow your kid to sleep in and make more of the HGH that will allow them to grow taller. By forcing a kid to get up at 6am or whatever, it will severely reduce their body’s own supply of HGH. Just food for thought. There are other ways to hack the production of HGH without injections. And considering how important schools are to you, this may be another factor that you should contemplate.

    1. Great insight on HGH being produced the most in the morning. I totally agree about later school time starts so kids can sleep in more.

      How do you think your life and happiness would be different if your husband was 6’1” tall?

  22. 6 foot 9 here.

    We need to make more money, because it genuinely does cost a lot more. :)

    You don’t just go to the store and buy clothes or shoes. You have to special order, or find a few select brands that carry your fit/size. Most of the big and tall sizes put an emphasis on the big portion. If you are athletic build, very hard to find. Virtually never on sale, premium prices.

    Flying? Economy plus might work for a very short flight, otherwise you are paying for exit row upgrades or above.

    Pros and cons, but definitely costs more.

    1. Dang! I would never ever fly economy class at 6‘9“ tall. I might not ever travel anywhere for the first 10 years of my adult life because it would just be too torturous and I didn’t have enough money.

      But the key question is: can you dunk a basketball? If you can, then maybe everything is all right!

  23. I have an Airbnb where the ceiling is only 6.5’. It’s definitely more appropriate for those under 6’. Price is a lot cheaper than normal units.

    Also – gymnastics is a sport where it’s much better to be short. I’m 6’ and love gymnastics. But I wish I was 5’ when doing my sport…

  24. I maxed out at 5’7″. Not too bad, except I played basketball in high school. I had myself convinced that if I had another couple inches I could play in college. If there were a simple pill or exercise that made you taller I probably would’ve tried it. At the time, I might’ve paid $3k, not $300k for HGH.

    As an adult, I’m happy with my height. Great points about all the advantages of being short. Another one: It’s easier to find clothes that fit.

  25. Oh how facinating! Funny this reminds me that the brother of one of my friends was given growth hormones back when we were growing up. I’m not sure what the single mom’s motivations were. He didn’t end up super tall, just average I’d say and his sister was average to slightly above average height without taking any injections. The mom herself was average height so I dunno.

    Anyway I agree with you it seems totally unnecessary to pay for growth hormones and doesn’t seem worth the health risks. Love your list of pros for being short. I haven’t heard of many of those. Lots of great positives!!

  26. Bob Bofinger

    This nets it out nicely — “If you or your child are in the bottom 10th percentile for height, I can see why you’d consider taking or injecting your child with HGH. But if your child is already in the 99th percentile, you are nuts.” My daughter was very short as a young child — she was regularly *well below* the charts. We visited a pediatric endocrinologist regularly for years just to keep an eye on things, and routinely discussed HGH. For 3 straight years, he would not write the script. During that time, my daughters *rate of growth* tracked to the charts, but from below the chart. Only when her rate of growth deviated from the chart did he agree to write the script. Net is to say that the treatment was absolutely life changing and I would recommend the treatment to anyone in a similar situation. But that said, the point/question I have is, How are people with $300k to burn and normal height children actually obtaining the HGH? Unless things have changed since we did it, you still need a doctors script, and my experience is that credible doctors do not simply hand you a script if you ask, nor should they — there needs to be a identifiable medical justification for it, or at least there used to be. Perhaps there are back channels, questionable doctors, or presumably one could acquire it from the street, but if that is the only way you have to get it, that should tell all you need to know….

  27. Interesting article – first comment here since I’m a new follower but probably not your average expected reader- I am a 36 year old working mom with two kids (classic immigrant story – born in Kenya, came to USA by myself to study at age 17 for college). It was a really tough time not being around family and having to fend for myself in a new country but I did it. Paid for my college by working all year round and got a decent job after graduation.

    I say all this because height was never a concern when you are trying to meet ends meet. I actually never thought of height at all as being a success indicator in this day and age…I think teaching kids grit and self sufficiency will make your kid reach much greater heights I would dish our dollars for that!! (Maybe not $300k).

    Also messing with nature and injecting your kid with hormones is a complete no no for me.

    Thanks Sam for the great content!

    Happy Friday!

  28. Christine Minasian

    We parents are the worst!!! First we’re paying to get our kids into college…now we’re paying for “designer children”?!?! It never ends! No wonder why we as parents are exhausted- it’s never enough for your kid to just be average. We are all cracking under the pressures of these expectations. Look at what’s happening in our high schools. Not healthy….

  29. Terrible article. Have you run out of ideas to write about? Taller people are found to be more attractive, more desirable by the opposite sex, almost every leader is over 6’0″, etc. by default. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is that as a tall person women are innately more attracted to you. That’s a price money can’t buy.

    Source: 6’2″ Master Race.

    1. I can empathize with what you’ve written if you haven’t found companionship yet. If not, just keep working at it. Finding someone is a numbers game. The more you put yourself out there, the higher your chances you’ll find someone. Work on your EQ. You can do it!

      1. Sam, you’re really going to ignore the elephant-in-the-room part of Chad’s comment (“Master Race“)?

        1. I don’t think Asians are the Master Race, as that would be quite pompous, despite our global population size, highest income/net worthM figures in America, incredible intelligence and amazing skin. We’re shorter than average. But we definitely do well in America!

          I feel so blessed to be born Asian. And I can’t take it for granted.

          What are your thoughts? Don’t be shy!

    2. I know so many guys who are overconfident and think they can date anybody because of their height. Then they neglect working on their intelligence and social skills. You sound like one of those guys.

      The average female is about 5’5″. A lot of women don’t want a guy 9 inches taller. A 2 – 4 inch spread works better.

  30. I’m 5’4 with shoes and I’m happy with it. I didn’t like being short when I was growing up, but I had another worse physical limitation anyway. Being short wasn’t the biggest problem I had.
    IMO, if the kid is in the 10% to 95% range, I wouldn’t consider HGH. Our son will probably grow to 5’6 to 5’8. That’s a bit short, but not bad. He might be taller because he’s growing up in the US and loves burgers & pizzas. We’ll see. He doesn’t need HGH.
    Anyway, about the dad with the kid in 99% growth chart. Maybe it’s a good idea. The kid can grow up to be huge and play basketball or other sports. I guess it depends on how tall the parents are. If they’re short, HGH won’t make a big difference.

    Lastly, I’m not sure if I’d trade an inch for another year of life. Any shorter and I’d look like a kid. It’s easy to trade something you have in excess. Not so much, when you have very little.

    1. When you say “if they’re short, HGH won’t make a big difference.” Can you explain further? The host of the podcast said the same thing, and it’s counterintuitive.

      “It’s easy to trade something you have in excess” – good point. I’d say, what’s the difference between 5’4″ and 5’3″. Give me another 1.2 years to live!

      1. I went with what the show said. I assume genetic would limit the height.

        From WebMD
        The challenge for doctors is trying to figure out which short kids will get the most help from the shots.

        Kids who have short parents but who are growing at normal rates probably won’t get a whole lot of help from the shots, Cohen says, especially if blood tests also show they’re not low in growth hormone.

  31. Bernie Keene

    I am 6’2”. My dad is 6’1” and just turned 93. He does have dementia and has been in a nursing home for two years. I’ve read about how being taller can decrease life expectancy. That is one reason why two years ago at the age of 57 I started eating a vegan diet and exercising more consistently. I’ve made adjustments to my sleep routine to try and get 7-8 hours a night. I plan to retire at age 62 or maybe 63. Since I’m not an early retiree I want to be as healthy as possible in my later years to enjoy life. I’m focusing on life purpose, vegan diet, exercise, good sleep, meditation and social connections to achieve this.
    The two main drawbacks I’ve dealt w from being taller have been difficulty finding size 14 shoes and taller women to date. Online shopping has helped w the shoes. If I were a more pleasant person to be around, that would probably help with finding a woman to tolerate me.

  32. Damm! At 6′ 4″ I attributed being able to retire early to living a relatively frugal life and working really hard…when it was all just height…..I gotta re-assess this F.I.R.E thing….

    Fun read – happy Friday

  33. I am not sure why anyone would spend $300k to get taller. My email is peppered constantly with emails with the title “add 3 inches” for a lot less! Lol

    All kidding aside I worry about the long term risks for taking something like HGH during adolescence. Some side effects could take decades to declare themselves and who knows if potential cancer increase or not. Would not make my daughter a Guinea pig because of it.

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