Is Coffee The Reason You’re Short?


Nikko Doughty and Sonia Valencia

If you were ever told to not drink coffee because it would stunt your growth, well that might just be an old wives’ tale. According to a study by Harvard, scientists have actually found no link between height and coffee. People use to say that the caffeine in coffee can reduce your calcium absorption which would make your bones not grow properly possibly stunting your growth. But this myth has been debunked.

The main effect on height is not caffeine consumption, it is mainly genetics. Caffeine is not only in coffee, but it is also in many popular drinks and foods like tea, soda, chocolate, ice cream, and energy drinks. So the myth that coffee is making you shorter is false because coffee unlike believed does not actually reduce your calcium intake. 

As previously stated, coffee is not the only thing that contains caffeine. Various studies have shown that coffee has absolutely no effect on your height, but coffee can cause other problems if you drink too much. Coffee can cause hyperactivity, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and headaches. Although, if you drink a good amount it can have some benefits such as energy and a decrease in depression. Either way, not one of the causes is stunt in growth.

We asked Ms. Traylor, a 7th-grade science teacher here at Dana, and this is what she says. “I do think that it’s possible for coffee to stunt your growth because the caffeine molecule will bind with calcium and make it where you can’t absorb your calcium. To kids, I recommend to not drink coffee at their age because not only does it stunt your growth, but it also inhibits certain chemicals in your brain that makes you more alert and awake.” 

According to People must be starting to look into this because of how many teens drink coffee nowadays. Since 2014, the percentage of kids ages 13 to 18 have gone up by 37%. Parents are worried about their child’s growth and health. Some scientists even say that there is no proof at all that it does. They say that a tablespoon of milk can be used for 8 ounces of coffee, and compared it to a diet with the right amount of calcium can’t do anything to your bones at all. 

The idea that coffee can stunt your growth could be caused by a number of things. It could be the studies with the caffeine molecule, it could be an old wives tale, or it could have something to do with advertising. Way back in the 1930s and further on in time, they would have papers stating how people should cut back on coffee. They included why coffee harms children, and how it stunts your growth. Either way, scientists now have come up with a better understanding of coffee and debunking the myth we all have heard.