Height as we know is determined by genes, diet and exercise, however an Anthropologist claims that in order for children to grow tall they also need love, hope and happiness.

More specifically, as the DailyMail reports, Professor Barry Bogin, a biological anthropologist at Loughborough University, claims that a young person’s emotional well-being is critical to preventing developmental delays.

“Not receiving love from our environment and having no hope for the future causes ‘toxic emotional stress’ that can damage the body, ‘including hormones that inhibit growth and height,'” the professor claims.

“The human species requires strong social and emotional bonds, namely love, between young and old (and indeed) between people of all ages,” he added. “All of the above are required to promote almost all biological functions, such as digestion, absorption of food into the body, a good immune system and an overall positive attitude towards life.”

Shortest people in Guatemala – Men only 1.63

Professor Barry Bogin, who has been studying how people grow for nearly five decades, said countries like Guatemala, where citizens live in uncertainty, political unrest and are exposed to violence, have some of the shortest people in the world.

The average Guatemalan man is about 1.63 tall, while the average woman is 1.49.

The professor also stated that the Netherlands – which has the tallest people in the world with men averaging around 1.83 cm and women 1.69 cm – has policies that support the social care and safety of its citizens.

“If you don’t have security, health care, education and you’re worried about the future, you can’t hope and that’s something that leads to chronic toxic stress and therefore ‘blocking’ the hormones that promote physical growth,” she told the DailyMail .

As part of his review, published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, Professor Bogin analyzed historical height records spanning nearly two centuries from the 1800s to the 1990s.