Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/5350
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Type: Journal article
Title: The small child: anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of short-for-age children growing in good and in poor socio-economic conditions
Author: Henneberg, M.
Harrison, G.
Brush, G.
Citation: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998; 52(4):286-291
Publisher: STOCKTON PRESS
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 0954-3007
1476-5640
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To ascertain whether individuals whose short stature is caused by poor living conditions differ in their other biological characteristics from those individuals who grow short, supposedly due to their genetic endowment, under favourable environmental conditions. DESIGN: From the growth survey of nearly 4000 children of the 'Cape Coloured' community aged 6-18 y half of whom lived in the middle-class suburbs of Cape Town [high socio-economic status (SES)], the other half who lived in poor rural settlements (low SES), boys and girls of similarly short stature were selected. Average body height by sex and age in each selected sample was close to the 5th percentile of height distribution among all high SES individuals surveyed. SETTING: Cape Town and neighbouring rural settlements in South Africa. SUBJECTS: Four thousand children of the Cape Coloured community aged 6-18 y. Among these were 109 high SES boys, 123 high SES girls, 302 low SES boys and 344 low SES girls selected for short stature study. INTERVENTIONS: Anthropometric measurements in public schools with appropriate permissions. RESULTS: Both short stature males and females from the low SES group tended to be significantly (P < 0.05) different from the high SES group of comparable stature in having lower body weights, shorter limbs, longer trunks, narrower shoulders, hips and chests, thinner skinfolds, smaller arm circumferences, and were very notably weaker and had poorer neuromuscular reaction times. Biepicondylar widths and pulse rates were little different between groups. Genetically short children do differ in various anthropometric and functional traits from those who are small from environmental causes.
Keywords: Humans; Growth Disorders; Body Weight; Anthropometry; Body Height; Reaction Time; Socioeconomic Factors; Adolescent; Adult; Child; Child, Preschool; South Africa; Female; Male
RMID: 0030006263
DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600550
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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