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Reaching the Age of Adolescence

Puberty and adolescence

When Anjali visited her aunt after a gap of five years, she was amazed to see that her 13 year old cousin brother (Sameer) had become quite tall and had a hairy line above his lips. She observed various changes which had recently developed in him. Do you know what these changes are and why they occur? Let us explore.

The period of life when the body undergoes several changes to reach sexual maturity is called Adolescence, or Growing up stage of life.

The stage of adolescence usually begins at ages 13 – 14 for boys, and ages 10 – 12 for girls. However, this may vary from person to person. The occurrence of adolescent changes in the body marks the onset of puberty.The stage of puberty ends with the attainment of sexual maturity in an adolescent.

But what are these changes which occur in the body of an adolescent during this stage?

The changes which take place in the body of an adolescent are:

(I) Increase in height

One of the most obvious changes that you may have observed in an adolescent is a sudden increase in height. This occurs due to the elongation of bones of arms and legs.

Let us perform a fun activity to find out how tall your classmates will grow at the end of puberty.

Record the height of boys and girls in your class and calculate the height of your classmates at the end of the growing period using the given table.

Age in years

% of full height

Boys

Girls

8

72

77

9

75

81

10

78

84

11

81

88

12

84

91

13

88

95

14

92

98

15

95

99

16

98

99.5

17

99

100

18

100

100

.

Use the given formula to calculate the full height (cm)

Let us take an example to understand how this formula can be used. Suppose Anjali’s cousin (Sameer) is 152 cm tall at the age of 13.

Then,

Present height of Sameer (cm) = 152 cm

% of full height at the age of 13 = 88% (see table)

Applying the values to the given formula, we get

Therefore, Sameer’s height at the age of 18 will be approximately 172 cm.

But does this formula give an exact measurement of height in all boys and girls? No. The height of an individual is dependent on factors like genes inherited from parents. So, not all boys and girls will grow to a height determined using the given table.

Also, proper intake of various nutrients and consuming a balanced diet provides proper nourishment for...

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