Does rice make you shorter? (4 reasons why)


Rice is an edible starchy cereal grain that is consumed mostly in Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa. It is mostly cultivated in Asian countries. Rice is the staple food in India, China and Indonesia where it is eaten widely and sometimes for both dinner and lunch.

There are basically two types of rice found in these countries, white rice and brown rice. Sometimes rice is also classified into two types according to its shape, long grain rice and short grain rice.

Rice has several health benefits, including diabetes control, improving digestive health, reducing cancer risk, maintaining blood pressure, and so on. Being highly nutritive in nature, it is accepted as the main food in India and China. But despite this, there is a controversy related to rice.

It is often said that rice can make you shorter. This idea is generated from the fact that Asians are shorter in height compared to Americans and Europeans. People think this is because of their love for rice. They feel eating rice whatsoever, is directly related to their short height. So can rice make you shorter? Let’s see.

Nutritional information of 100g rice

Nutrients Amount
Calories 130Kcal
Carbohydrate 28.7g
Protein 2.36g
Fat 0.19g
Sugars 0g
Nutritional information of 100g rice

4 reasons why rice can affect your height growth

Your height growth mainly depends on your genetics, nutrition and physical activity. Genetics plays the most important part when it comes to how tall you can be. Having said so, nutrition also has a side role in affecting your height. Rice is a part of our regular diet and if consumed within the limits (180-250grams), can never directly affect our height. But indirectly, it can affect your height. This generally happens when we tend to overeat rice. 

Rice is rich in carbohydrates which can affect your height

A protein-rich diet will always help you in your overall body development and growth. Protein is regarded as the building block of our body system. But rice is rich in carbohydrates but contains very less amount of protein. So rice has no involvement in changing your height. But consuming too much rice which is filled up with carbohydrates and contains very less protein can stun your overall growth and height. So it is recommended to include any sorts of protein-rich foods in your diet if your diet includes too much rice or any food that is rich in carbohydrates. 

Rice may affect arm-span height difference

Arm span is the length measured from one end of an individual’s arms (measured at the fingertips) to the other when elevated parallel to the ground at shoulder height at a 90° angle. This arm span is directly related to height. Eating too much rice especially glutinous rice has always been related to the formation of peptic ulcers and stomach discomfort which ultimately results in GERD. Various kinds of research confirm that vertebral deformity evaluated by arm-span height difference might have a positive relationship to the pathogenesis of GERD symptoms. The relation is complex but yes rice can affect your height in this way. 

Rice develops lethargy which can be a reason for short height

It is believed that rice makes one feel tired and lethargic. This is the sole reason Asians generally tend to consume rice for dinner to get a good night’s sleep. Rice is also associated with weight gain. As mentioned previously, besides genetics and nutrition, physical exercises play a major in improving the overall growth and development of your body. Consuming too much rice can result in extreme tiredness and the formation of lethargy in your body. As a result, one just feels too tired to perform any physical workouts and exercises. This can affect your height indirectly. 

Rice can cause growth retardation

Type 1 diabetes is a side effect of overeating rice. Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes may face growth retardation and pubertal delay due to poor glycemic control. Although this is not directly related to a decrease or increase in height but it can somewhat affect a child’s proper growth and development. 


So these are the reasons why rice can make you shorter. Overall rice directly can never affect your height but overeating rice can indirectly affect your overall growth and development. When it comes to the real reason, genetics play the most vital part to determine what your height will be in the near future. 


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