In the 19th century, Francis Galton presented the phenomenon of regression to the mean.
The concept is that average values exist everywhere, and we naturally gravitate towards them. For instance, children of very tall parents tend to be shorter, while those of very short parents tend to be taller. It maintains the average height of the group.1
Modern scientists believe that regression toward the mean operates at the societal level and influences the realization of growth potential. They refer to this as the factor of community target height.
Being short may not necessarily be an indicator of poor nutrition, poor health, or poor socioeconomic background; it may simply indicate that the group to be identified with is short.2
The physical connectedness of people is the key.
In a study conducted in Switzerland, conscripts from the same area had similar heights, but the farther apart they were, the greater the difference (Aßmann & Hermanussen, 2013).
We adopt the lifestyle of people in our circle, thus becoming physically similar to them.
It is likely that the period of active growth should be spent in groups where tall stature is something regular. Ensure that your city, school, or sports section has a high average stature. This should somehow increase your chances of achieving the same.
Recent evidence suggests that adolescent growth may depend on height of their peers in the sense that tall peers stimulate, whereas short peers inhibit growth.3
The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Edition: Reprint, Chapter 8, Leonard Mlodinow, Vintage, 2009 ↩