Science has historically been riddled with the nature vs nurture conundrum as it relates to human development. Perhaps this riddle has been solved with the emergence of the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics suggests that it is not nature vs nurture but rather nature via nurture that shapes human development.

Epigenetics recognizes that we all are born with a heritable genetic “blue print” that predisposes our development. Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter.  Developmental conditions like height and weight are more heritable then almost any other human condition studied. However, some of these inherited genes (nature) are malleable by outside influences (nurture) that can shape or reshape these predisposition potentials and affect our development.

Having tall parentage would likely predispose for tallness. But that predisposition potential cannot be realized unless weight baring activity and optimal nutrition (calcium, protein, Vitamin D etc.) is available. Continue reading