Get Shorty

[Published on 20 Feb, 1998]

A person's height may be determined
by the time of year they are born. According to a research team
at Vienna University Institute of Human Biology, men born in
springtime tend to be taller than those born in the autumn.

The team found the pattern by studying the heights of
507,125 military conscripts measured when they were 18 years old.
The figures were taken from federal army registers over a period of 10 years.

The report: "There is clear evidence for a dependence of body height
at age 18 on month of birth. The link is presumably connected with
the annual cycle and could be connected with the light-dependent
activity of the pineal gland." The gland produces the hormone melatonin -
its concentration known to vary according to the intensity of light -
which, in turn, varies yearly.