nd adolescents from Maputo, Mozambique, was carried out in order to (1) describe the current growth status of children and adolescents from Maputo, (2) evaluate the relative status of the growth and development of youth from Maputo compared to WHO international standards, (3) assess the relationship between socioeconomic status and growth and development, and (4) assess the impact that the civil war (1980–1992) had on the health status of children and adolescents living in Maputo. The sample is composed of 2,271 subjects (1,098 boys and 1,173 girls), age 6 to 17 years. Somatic measures included height, weight, and skinfold thicknesses from which nutritional indicators were calculated and plotted against WHO norms. Subjects were divided into three groups according to their socioeconomic status. Data from a cross-sectional study done in the same areas in 1992 was used to analyze the impact of war. Beginning at 11 years, Maputo students are always shorter and weigh less than the WHO standards. BMI in boys from 11 years and in girls from 12 years is somewhat lower than the WHO norms. A social gradient is evident, favoring those students with higher socioeconomic status. Height, weight, BMI, fat mass, and lean body mass are always higher in the 1999 sample than in the 1992 study. We conclude that (1) there is a substantial difference in height and weight values of Maputo children and adolescents compared to WHO standards; (2) there is a clear advantage of being of higher socioeconomic status; (3) socioeconomic status, hygiene, and sanitation are the main factors responsible for the greater values of the 1999 sample; and (4) differences between the stature of students with higher socioeconomic status and the WHO norms are almost irrelevant. This last aspect reveals the importance of socioeconomic factors in determining the growth process, implying its importance in facilitating the ‘‘expression’’ of the genotypes available in the population.
Prista, A; Maia, A J. R.; Saranga, S; and Nhantumbo, L
"Somatic Growth of a School-Aged Population from Mozambique: Trend and Biosocial Meaning,"
4, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol77/iss4/4