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August 5, 1992

Optimizing Growth Potential of Children

Author Affiliations

Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center

JAMA. 1992;268(5):600. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490050048010

To the Editor.  —We read with interest the study by Yip et al1 analyzing the growth status of Asian immigrants in the United States. They noted that the growth pattern of the Asian children was similar to that of other ethnic groups in the United States, which strongly suggests that children of different ethnic origin may have similar growth potential.1 We have recently examined the standing height of about half a million 17- to 18-year-old military recruits from different ethnic groups in Israel.2 Over the 22 years of the study, the significant difference in adult height between ethnic groups greatly diminished. Thus, our results support those of Yip et al in implying that differences in height attainment found for children of different ethnic origins3 may reflect socioeconomic and demographic inequalities among ethnic groups4 rather than the effect of genetic variance.Furthermore, in a study of