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Parents are giving their children growth hormones to make them taller
Published on: 2021-08-25
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Some children in China are being injected with human growth hormone by their parents hoping to make them taller out of concern that being short might hinder the kid’s future.
 

The trend has emerged due to multiple factors: children growing up in a hyper-competitive environment, increased wealth making the products affordable to more people, and the relative safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
 

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of synthetic growth hormone for children in 2003, and subsequent studies found that it helped kids grow about 5cm if they are treated for 5.5 years.
 

The average height of Chinese teenagers has already increased significantly over the past 35 years because improvements in quality of life have allowed more families to access the nutrients needed to promote growth.
 

The average height of a 19-year-old woman has grown 5cm from 1985 to 2019. For men, that number is 7.6cm.
 

The increase in boys’ height is the largest in the world over that period, while the rise in girls’ height is third.
 

Manufacturing and selling growth hormone has also become a profitable business. The size of the industry in China reached 7.7 billion yuan last year, according to Southwest Securities, a financial services firm.
 

The most popular treatment comes in a liquid form, which requires a shot every day. It usually costs between 3,000 yuan and 4,000 yuan per month.

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