Kruger, H. Salome, Margetts, Barrie M. and Vorster, Hester H.
Evidence for relatively greater subcutaneous fat deposition in stunted girls in the North West Province, South Africa, as compared with non-stunted girls
Nutrition, 20, (6), . (doi:10.1016/j.nut.2004.03.002).
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Objective: we examined differences in body composition between stunted and non-stunted girls, with adjustments for confounding factors.
Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted in a representative sample of 478 African school girls, ages 10 to 15 y, in the North West Province, South Africa. Height, weight, skinfold thicknesses, and waist and mid upper arm circumferences were measured by trained biokineticists using standard methods. Trained fieldworkers measured dietary intakes by 24-h recall, and physical activity was measured by using the physical activity recall of the previous day. Body mass index and physical activity category were calculated.
Results: stunted girls had significantly lower weight and skinfold thicknesses than did non-stunted ones. After including the covariates: age, years since menarche, school, type of housing, dietary energy and fat intakes, physical activity category, body weight, and stratum of urbanization in analysis of variance, the mean sum of triceps skinfold and subscapular skinfold thicknesses of stunted girls was greater than that of the non-stunted girls (P < 0.002). Stunted subjects were less active than non-stunted ones.
Conclusion: this manifestation of relatively more subcutaneous fat and greater waist circumference in stunted girls may be involved in the development of obesity among black women in South Africa.
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