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MINERVA PEDIATRICA

A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 June;64(3):325-31

language: English

Stature and body mass of Nigerian children aged 9-12 years

Goon D. T., Toriola A. L., Shaw B. S.

Department of Sports, , Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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AIM: Mean stature and body mass at selected ages are useful indices of the health and well-being of children in a community. However, such data is not available in school children in Makurdi, Nigeria. The aim of this paper was to present the stature and body mass of children aged 9-12 years in Makurdi, Nigeria, with a view to providing baseline data for these physical characteristics.
METHODS:Anthropometric measurements of stature and body mass were taken in cross-sectional study of 2015 children (979 boys and 1036 girls) randomly selected from 19 public primary schools in Makurdi, Nigeria.
RESULTS: The girls (Mean stature=138.9; SD=8.1 cm and body mass: 31.5; SD=6.1 kg) were significantly taller and heavier (P≤0.05) than the boys (Mean stature=137.2; SD=7.7 cm and body mass: 29.8; SD=4.4 kg). At all age categories the girls were taller than the boys. Except at age nine, the girls were significantly heavier than the boys at ages 10 to 12 years (p≤ 0.001). Stature and body mass increased with age in both boys and girls. In comparison with the NCHS growth reference, the Nigerian children were significantly shorter and lighter at all the ages than their American peers.
CONCLUSION: Lower values of stature and body mass recorded in this sample in comparison with the NCHS standard are probably due to poor living conditions. Periodic monitoring of these anthropometric indicators in the children could provide reliable data for screening those with growth abnormalities so that appropriate health intervention strategies can be instituted.

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toriolaal@tut.ac.za