Height is deemed important since it has been correlated to success in various fields, including sports. And since parents only want the best for their children, many seek professional help to give their kids that early advantage in terms of height.

“All the rich kids are on them,” one mom, who asked to remain anonymous, told the New York Post about the trend of parents getting their kids human growth hormone shots to boost their growth.

“There are some parents who are forcing them on their kids … A lot of parents are like, ‘Oh, he’s only going to be 5 feet, 7 inches, that’s bad,’” added the mom.

A pediatrician interviewed by “This American Life” dubbed the trend of parents demanding human growth hormone prescriptions for their children “cosmetic endocrinology.” But parents are doing this for different reasons.

Some are looking to prevent their children from getting bullied at school. Others want to help jumpstart an athletic or modeling career for their kids early on. Several are doing it for medical reasons. But surprisingly, most kids deemed short for their age do not have a growth-hindering medical condition, according to the Post.

The treatment does not come cheap. Parents spend thousands on the hormone alone. Robert, who asked to use a pseudonym, told the Post that he and his wife took their son to a pediatric endocrinologist for help regarding his short stature.

After subjecting their son to various tests, Robert and his wife learned that their son did not have a medical condition that hindered his growth. After much consideration, they decided to spend roughly $3,000 for the treatment, before meeting the insurance deductible.

Dr. Eric Ascher told the Post that while there may be various reasons why parents opt for the growth hormone shots for their children, “desire for looks is more often what we’re treating versus health.”

The family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side warned of the drawbacks to the treatment. Aside from sending “a negative social message at a young age,” he said the kids could have an increased risk of heart issues later in life.

According to Therapeutic Goods Administration, high levels of the hormone over a long period could lead to irreversible acromegaly, while smaller doses could cause complications, including diabetes and heart disease.

Parents are supposedly informed of the risks before treatment is started. But for Robert, he said he does not regret getting his son the growth hormone shots. The 12-year-old boy was 4 feet, 5 inches tall before the procedure. After 14 months, he sprouted up to 4 feet, 8 inches and has become more confident.

Height is determined by hundreds of genes, and there are still many more to discover. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock