This article was originally written by Cher Sern Lim
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Humans grow fastest during the first two to three years of life. Then the height growth slows down through childhood until about age 10 or 11.
At this point, girls accelerate in height to reach their maximum by age 17 while boys shoot up a little later, reaching their tallest by age 20. One of America’s most famous tall people, Wilt Chamberlain, hit a major growth spurt at age 15, when he grew four inches in three months. By the time he started playing college basketball he had reached a towering 7 feet 1 inch.
Growth beyond the age of 20 is rare. But interestingly, late growth spurts are more likely to occur when poor nutrition has inhibited growth earlier in life. In the malnourished communities in South America, for example, people continued growing throughout their 20s. But these people did not grow as tall as most Americans, since they grew less during the more critical years of childhood.
In modern times, being tall can help a person be more successful – sexually and professionally. In the United States, anecdotal evidence suggests that taller people appear more attractive and so have an easier time finding sexual partners.