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October 13, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(15):1262-1263. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590420054013

Growth is influenced by conditions that may be described as internal and external, respectively. One of the sets of factors thus concerned is constitutional; the other, environmental in character. Stature is determined by growth, and the question of the degree to which this feature of the individual is controlled by conditions of life rather than by hereditary considerations has been somewhat debated. As a recent writer1 has pointed out, that there are hereditary factors involved in the differences in height of adults follows from the recognition of racial differences, for true racial characters are hereditary. Moreover, this hereditary nature has been popularly long recognized. Nevertheless, there is a strong tendency with certain persons to ascribe idiosyncrasies in stature almost wholly to peculiarities of conditions of development. The assumption of an inferior food supply as a cause of decreased stature in certain groups of population has often permitted its adherents

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