Men Tell Tall Tales On Height

Health: Height, Size, Measure, Measuring
More men than women overstate their height.

The finding comes from a study of 200 parents (100 men and 100 women). The parents, who were about 38 years old and lived in the U.K., were asked how tall they are.

"On average, males overestimated height while females reported their height relatively accurately," write the researchers in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

How far off were the men's estimates? That varied, but 27 percent overestimated their height by an inch or more, compared with 13 percent of the women, the study shows.

Why Does It Matter?

Parents' height is often used to help predict a child's future height. Based on this study, it might be worth double-checking parents' self-reported height.

"We recommend that efforts should be made to measure both parents at the earliest opportunity and record their heights in the child health record," write the researchers. They included W.F. Paterson of the child health department at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland.

Some past studies have shown that men overestimate their height while women underreport their height. But this time, women were pretty much on the mark, note Paterson and colleagues.

The parents were recruited when they brought their children to outpatient health clinics. Parents' height was measured on the spot.