An individual's final height is determined by genetics, but controllable factors such as nutrition, exercise, sleep and avoiding unhealthy habits assist in realizing growth potential. Therefore, eating healthy foods, sleeping well and exercising enough are the best methods to reaching an individual's genetically predetermined height.
A growth chart, such as one used by a pediatrician, can predict reasonably well how tall a child will become in adulthood. Parental height is another method of prediction, but it is not always reliable. Early puberty and delayed growth patterns can muddle prediction as well.
Female children typically begin their growth spurts between the ages of 9 and 10, and this process is at its peak between the ages of 11 and 12. Boys, who experience puberty later than girls, undergo a delayed growth onset. Their growth spurts often start at age 11 and peak around 13. During their fastest growth periods, boys may grow 4 inches a year or more, while girls typically stay under 3 inches per year. This is the largest factor for why men are around 5 inches taller than women on average. At the end of puberty, the growth plates in the bones close and the individual's final height is reached. In rare instances, a child may not grow at a sufficient rate due to an endocrine problem, and a pediatric endocrinologist can assist in rectifying the problem.