Under regular nutritional and health conditions, body height, weight and also head circumference are considerably related. We hypothesize that the noticeable general association in between weight, height, and also head circumference of the cultivation child can be misleading.

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We reanalyzed data of 7,444 boys and also 7,375 girl measured in East-Germany between 1986 and also 1990, aged from 0 come 7 y with dimensions of human body length/height, foot length, sitting height, biacromial shoulder breadth, thoracic breadth, thoracic depth, thoracic circumference, human body weight, head volume, percentage of body fat, and hip skinfold vertical, using major component analysis.


Strong associations exist in between skeletal growth, fat accumulation, and also head volume increments. Yet in spite of this general proportionality, skeletal growth, fat acquisition, and head growth exhibit different patterns. Three contents explain between practically 60% and more than 75% of cumulative variance between birth and age 7 y. Parameters of skeletal expansion predominantly fill on the first component and clearly separate from signs of fat deposition. After period of 2 y, head volume tons on a separate third component in both sexes indicating independence of head growth.


Under proper nutritional and health circumstances, nutritional status, human body size, and also head circumference room not related.

The association in between nutrition and mind development has broadly been studied not only in malnourished (1), but also in wealthy European populations. Correia and also coworkers (2) uncovered birth weight and birth head size to be connected with head size and cognitive abilities in childhood and also adult life, and also postulated that cognitive abilities might have acted together selective press responsible for the newborn fatness increase. Räikkönen et al. (3) confirmed that little head one at bear predicted poorer verbal, visuospatial, and arithmetic abilities, and also that sluggish weight gain in between birth and also age 6 mo, in between ages 6 mo and 2 y, or both suspect poorer performance.

Kuzawa and also coworkers (4) disputed metabolic costs and also evolutionary effects of human brain development. They discovered that human mind glucose demands peak during childhood around an er of 5 y. The authors noted evidence that mind metabolism and body expansion rate covary inversely throughout development, and also hypothesized that the high prices of human mind development need compensatory slowing of body growth rate. These and similar findings have recently resulted in vivid discussions about the affect of brain growth, head circumference, and cognitive advance on height and also weight increments throughout early childhood. Leading nutritionists even suggested that throughout periods of top head growth, height, and weight increments might substantially it is in impaired (personal interactions 2015). These rather general associations between weight, height, and head one of the farming child room still offered to justify world-wide nutrition programs currently at early on age.

Yet, this view can be deceptive. There is no doubt that under typical nutritional and health conditions, human body height, weight, and head one are significantly related. This is true for all ages and reflects the general proportionality in the human type (5). However, the is less clear whether this basic proportionality persists when applying an ext sophisticated statistical devices for the analysis of interactions in between the build-up of fat, expansion of the skeleton system and the rise in head size. We hypothesize that the apparent general association in between weight, height, and head circumference of the farming child is misleading and also gives increase to misinterpretation. We tested this hypothesis in body length/height, leg length, various body diameters and circumferences, body weight, percent of human body fat, and also idealized head volume in 7,444 boys and 7,375 girls, aged 0–7 y, from eastern Germany measured in between 1986 and 1990.

We reanalyzed a huge data set of 7,444 boys and 7,375 girls aged from 0 to 7 y in ~ 12 period groups (0–0.25–0.5–0.75–1.0–1.5–2–3–4–5–6–7 y; age calculation is centered) measured in East-Germany in between 1986 and 1990, with dimensions of body length or after age 2 y body elevation (BH), sitting elevation (SH), leg length (LL, calculated as difference of BH–SH), biacromial shoulder breadth, thoracic breadth, thoracic depth, thoracic circumference, body load (mass), and idealized head volume (HV, calculated as ellipsoid determined by head size (HL), head breadth (HB) and also the difference in between BH and also tragion height, TH). Idealized head volume was liked as this parameter was thought about to better represent brain growth than head circumference, or either among the three one-dimensional parameters head length, head breadth, and also tragion height that all fill on the exact same component (data not shown). In addition, we figured out percentage of body fat (BF, calculation from two skinfolds (SF: triceps, subscapular)). As complete body fat differentiates in between sexes and also corrects because that obesity, it better represents the nutritional component of a specific individual than just the two skinfolds. In addition, we figured out hip skinfold vertical. All actions were gathered under standardized problems (6).

The BMI, the percentage of human body fat (%BF) and also the HV were calculated with the following formulas:

(1)BMI = weight (kg) / height2(m2)

(2)† ΣSF = SF triceps + SF subscapular

(3)† %BF (girls ΣSF > 35 mm) = 0.546 (ΣSF) + 9.7

(4)† %BF (girls Σ SF ) = 1.33 (ΣSF) – 0.013 (ΣSF)2 −2.5

(5)†%BF (boys Σ SF > 35 mm) = 0.783 (ΣSF) + 1.6

(6)†%BF (boys Σ SF ) = 1.21 (ΣSF) – 0.008 (ΣSF)2 −1.7

(7)‡HV = 4/3 · π · HL · HB · (BH−TH)

(† after ~ (7))

(‡ various methods exist to calculation cranial volume (8), yet together all these estimates are based upon external steps of head length, head breadth, and head height without recommendation to separation, personal, instance skull thickness, we preferred applying the basic formula because that ellipsoids.)

We used principal component analysis (PCA) ( Table 1 ), and checked the nonparametric correlation that the variables. Due to the fact that of the correlation in between the variables we supplied the Oblimax rotation an approach with Kaiser normalization (9). The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin-criteria were confirm (KMO > 0.75). In each age group we were able to extract 3 main components that explained depending upon age between almost 60% and more than 75% of the accumulation variance ( Table 1 ). PCA is a straightforward version of an explanatory aspect analysis. Factor evaluation and PCA are used to reduce dimensions, and also often result in very similar outcome. We used rotation in ours approach. Together we intended to describe, rather than version our observations, we considered PCA more appropriate for this details purpose. The statistics were calculated making use of the statistical Package because that Social scientific researches (SPSS), version 23 (IBM SPSS Statistics, Armonk, NY). For reasons of legibility we present the absolute values of the loadings.

Table 1 three principal contents are enough to define between nearly 60% and more than 75% the the accumulation variance (see numbers 2 and also 3 )

The measurements were in accordance with the moral standards the the responsible institutional or local committee top top human testing at Humboldt-University that Berlin (former GDR) and in accordance v the Helsinki declaration of 1975 as revised in 1983.

Figure 1 depicts Spearman-rho coefficients the correlations in between height and head circumference; height and also weight; and also weight and head one from birth to period 7 y, and also nicely exemplifies the famous correlations in between these parameters throughout infancy and childhood —increases in body length (height) coincide with increases in human body mass and increases in head dimension at all ages between birth and 7 y. Figures 2 and also 3 illustrates that despite this basic proportionality, body height, leg length, sitting height, biacromial shoulder breadth, thoracic breadth, thoracic depth, thoracic circumference, body weight, head volume, and also percentage of human body fat and also hip skinfold upright exhibit very different patterns. Together presented in Table 1 , three contents are enough to explain between almost 60% and more than 75% the the cumulative variance. The parameters of bones growth—body height, foot length, sit height, and also shoulder breadth, thoracic measures and also body mass—predominantly fill on the an initial component. Likewise head volume tons on this component, despite only during the very first 2 y when due to early childhood proportions, head elevation (the difference between body height and also tragion height) still account for more than 15% of full body height. The parameters of skeleton growth and head volume clearly separate indigenous the indications of fat deposition—percentage of body fat, hip skinfold, and BMI—that predominantly pack on the second component. Only throughout infancy, shoulder breadth and also thoracic measures inconsistently likewise load ~ above the “fat component”.


Correlation in between height and head circumference (dotted line), height and also weight (straight line), and also weight and also head circumference (dashed line) of 0–7 y old boys (a) and girls (b) (nonparametric correlation: Spearman’s-rho); every coefficients are far-ranging at the 0.01 level (two-tailed).

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Eigenvalues of different body dimensions of boys (newborn as much as 7 y old). (a) Eigenvalues of ingredient 1-height ingredient of principal component evaluation (PCA); (b) eigenvalues of ingredient 2-body massive component; (c) eigenvalues of ingredient 3-head component.

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Eigenvalues of various body dimensions of girls (newborn as much as 7 y old) of elevation component, human body mass component, and also head component of principal component evaluation (PCA). The figure is built analogous to figure 2.

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After age 2 y, as soon as the velocity that head volume growth slows under (HV = 431.6 ± 179.9 cm3 in newborns, HV = 1,088.2 ± 448.9 cm3 1 y old, HV = 1,174.6 ± 618.7 cm3 2 y old children) head volume starts to fill on a separate third component in both sexes indicating that head expansion is an independent procedure and proceeds separately of bones growth and fat acquisition.

The proportionality that human growth is famous (5): enlarge babies have actually bigger heads. And also since observational evidence says that well fed babies through bigger heads also do better (1) the general perception that a optimistic association in between early linear growth and also cognitive and motor breakthrough nicely fits the vision that reliable nutrition interventions that room able to minimize linear growth restriction may additionally improve developmental outcomes (10).

We hypothesize that this vision might oversimplify the complicated interaction between weight, height, and head one increments that the farming child and also give increase to misinterpretation. In fact, the far-ranging interrelations in between the 3 parameters are deceptive. PCA reveals the in comparison to the well-known perception, development of the skeleton system, accumulation of fat (as indicator that nutritional richness) and also the development of head dimension follow very different developmental paths: Incremental fads of portion of body fat differ from the incremental patterns of body length and also both differ from the incremental trends of head volume as already shown in adults (11,12).

The fact that portion of body fat is independent of human body length, foot length, and also sitting height during infant and child development supports recent evidence listed by Mumm et al. (13) who studied the association of body weight and also weight variability in 833 modern and historic expansion studies, and concluded that elevation gains and also weight gains room subject to various regulations as currently shown in a representative examine on German adults (11,12).

Our vision strongly concerns current concepts that nutrition interventions can properly reduce linear expansion restriction and improve cognitive development. Larson and Yousafzai (14) meta-analyzed the effects of nutrition interventions ~ above mental advancement in kids under period 2 y in low- and also middle-income countries. The writer asked (i) do prenatal and also postnatal nutritional inputs improve mental development? and (ii) are effects on mental development associated through physical growth and also motor development? and also concluded the motor development, however not development status, effect sizes to be significantly connected with mental development in postnatal interventions, however that nutrition interventions had only small effects on mental development. The lacking effect of temporary malnutrition on brain growth was already noticed in an earlier study the German adults. Greil (12) proved that even those cohorts born between 1942 and also 1948, i.e., during and shortly after civilization War II and also raised under too much nutritional and also health problems did no differ in head measures contrasted with those born before and also thereafter.

Not just macronutrients, additionally supplementation of micronutrients apparently absence an impact in psychological development. Provided the importance of means of means to ideal cognitive development, Juaregui-Lobera (15) meta-analyzed the relevance of stole deficiency and also iron deficiency anemia. They created the difference between the cognitive after-effects of steel deficiency and also those affecting particularly cognitive development. Lock wrote, and also the debate about the energy of stole supplements are the most relevant and also controversial topics. Lock only discovered “some evidence that stole supplementation improves cognitive functions”. Warthon-Medina et al. (16) meta-analyzed the relationship in between zinc intake, status, and also indices the cognitive duty in children and also adults, yet failed to display a far-reaching effect of zinc supplementation ~ above cognitive to work in children. Various other authors likewise failed to uncover clinically significant effects that micronutrient supplementation on head growth and cognitive function.

In contrast to the disappointed association in between nutrition and cognitive development, Aboud and Yousafzai (17) highlighted the prominence of sufficient psychosocial stimulation come prevent kids from occurring expected cognitive and also language abilities. In a methodical review and also meta-analysis the 21 interventions aimed at boosting stimulation and also 18 interventions the provided far better nutrition, they proved revealed the stimulation had actually a medium impact size that 0.42 and also 0.47 top top cognitive and language development, respectively, conversely, nutrition through itself had only a little effect dimension of 0.09.

Even though some authors imply that food supplementation for enhancing the physical and psychosocial health and wellness may be efficient for kids of 18), there is a disappointing absence of evidence supporting the general idea that far better nutrition will boost later intellectual development. Under appropriate nutritional and health circumstances, nutritional status, body size, and head circumference room not related.

Skeletal growth, fat deposition, and also head volume exhibit different incremental patterns. PCA can plainly separate skeleton growth and also fat deposition saying that these parameters perform not rely on every other.

After period 2 y, additionally head volume the initially closely follows the patterns of skeleton growth, starts to load on a separate component.

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The data indicate that nutrition supplementation will certainly fail to significantly modify skeleton growth and head volume.