How tall do you want to be? 你的理想身高是多少?

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身高和體型並不代表一個人的價值,但個子高的人在特定的方面或許佔一定的優勢。縱觀歷史,人類是否越長越高?本期節目討論人類身高的變遷和高個子的利與弊。

詞彙: growth 生長發育

How tall are you? Do you tower over your friends and family – or are they people you literally have to look up to? Obviously, we’re not all the same, and size doesn’t really matter. But did you know that there’s a possibility that we’re all getting taller?

Of course, our height is out of our control – it’s a biological fact, influenced partly by genetics. The idea that being taller gives you more power and authority might be a tall story, but according to David Robson, writing for BBC Future, 「on the basis of first impressions alone, taller people may have the edge.」 He adds that despite some slight risks to your health, various studies have found that the greater your height, the higher you score on measures of happiness and enjoyment of life.

If this makes you want to become loftier, it’s good to know that all of us are taller than we were 150 years ago – by as much as ten centimetres. Scientists have known for a long time that humans with good diets and reliable access to food tend to grow taller and mature more quickly. Adult height in some countries has rocketed as they transformed into a developed society.

In a recent study, scientists have discovered a brain receptor, called MC3R, linked to our growing process. It’s thought to be the crucial link between food and sex development and growth. Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly from Cambridge University told the BBC: 「It tells the body we’re great here, we’ve got lots of food, so grow quickly, have puberty soon and make lots of babies.」 This discovery could lead to drugs to improve muscle mass and treat delayed growth, UK researchers say.

For those aspiring to be taller, we need to look at the Dutch, who stand head and shoulders above the rest of us as the tallest people in the world. But there is a ceiling for height, and it’s reached when people achieve their genetic potential. But, of course lanky people have to stoop through doorways and struggle to fit in cars and can have joint and cardiovascular problems, so maybe we should be careful for what we wish for.

詞彙表

tower over 比…高
look up to someone 仰望(某人),敬仰某人
height 身高
biological 生理的
genetics 遺傳
tall story 無稽之談
the edge 優勢
lofty 高的
mature 發育成熟的
rocket 迅速增長
brain receptor 腦受體
growing 生長的
puberty 青春期
muscle mass 肌肉量
head and shoulders above 比…高出一大截,遠遠高於
ceiling 上限
lanky 瘦高的
stoop 彎腰

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How is height thought to relate to happiness?

2. Up to how much taller have people grown in the last 150 years?

3. True or false? Humans with reliable access to food tend to grow taller.

4. What has the brain receptor called MC3R been found to do?

5. Which people tend to be tallest in the world?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The footballer is a role model that other players _______.

look down to              look in to                    look up to                  look up from

2. Mind your head. You need to _______ to get through this small door.

lanky                          stoop                          mature                      ceiling

3. Because of the bad winter, prices of vegetables have _______.

rocketed                     rocketing                    rockets                      rocketted

4. The house feels very spacious with _______ ceilings.

mature                        height                         lofty                           lanky

5. The big mountain _______ the town, blocking the Sun in the afternoons.

tower over                   towers over                towering over            towers under

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。 

1. How is height thought to relate to happiness?
Various studies have found that the greater your height, the higher you score on measures of happiness.

2. Up to how much taller have people grown in the last 150 years?
All of us are taller than we were 150 years ago – by as much as ten centimetres.

3. True or false? Humans with reliable access to food tend to grow taller.
True. Scientists have known for a long time that humans with good diets and reliable access to food tend to grow taller and mature more quickly.

4. What has the brain receptor called MC3R been found to do?
A brain receptor called MC3R is linked to our growing process.

5. Which people tend to be tallest in the world?
The Dutch are the tallest people in the world.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The footballer is a role model that other players look up to.

2. Mind your head. You need to stoop to get through this small door.

3. Because of the bad winter, prices of vegetables have rocketed.

4. The house feels very spacious with lofty ceilings.

5. The big mountain towers over the town, blocking the Sun in the afternoons.