How much did I compromise my growth?

Last updated on December 20, 2023


Dear Minister, 

I hope you are having a wonderful day. 

I am curious if my final height had been compromised or if I lost any growth potential because of some bad habits I had during puberty. 

When I was 12 years old, I stayed up to 1-2 am several times a week for about four months. When I was 13 years old, I starved myself for about four months due to body insecurities and ate way less than my maintenance calories. Moreover, I did some extremely intensive fitness training 5 days a week, meaning that what little I ate was even more inadequate. I am worried because these habits occurred around my peak growth rate. 

Please let me know your thoughts on how much of my height was compromised if at all, how to make the best of the growth I have left, and what I can expect in the future in terms of skeletal growth.  I am currently 14.

Thank you so much for reading my question. I look forward to reading your response!


A lack of sleep is not good for anyone, but I suspect your body forced you to make up for the late nights by causing you to sleep late every once in a while. While it wasn’t a good practice, I suspect that it didn’t make much if any impact on your height.

Your lack of nutrition while growing would have slowed down your growth. However, the body has a tendency to recover from abuse. You only starved yourself for 4 months and I take it that you’ve been eating properly since then. So while there probably was a small impact at the time, I would suspect that your body has recovered from it since then.


Dear Minister, 

Thank you so much for your advice. However, I still have a few questions. 

Do you think that, since these things occurred during my peak height velocity, my final height would have been compromised? Also, how do you think that my body has recovered from the abuse? 


Since growth is a one-time event for each person and we currently can only guess at your final adult height, there is no real way to measure if you have caused a loss of height or not.

There are several papers that discuss catch-up growth. See:

In severe cases, catch-up growth is not guaranteed, but your case would not be labeled as severe.