Document Type



Height, weight, lean body mass (via total body water analysis), and total body fat were measured on 203 U.S. Black males between the ages of 10 and 18 years. Of the total group, 105 boys were from lower income and 98 were from middle income backgrounds. Lower income boys were significantly shorter and lighter and had significantly smaller lean body weights compared with their middle income counterparts. There were no differences in fatness. Growth differences between income levels become pronounced after 11 years of age, suggesting that the smaller size of the lower income group is the result of a delay in the adolescent growth spurt. The data suggest that the growth of the lower income group may “catch up” with that of the middle income group during late adolescence. However, further research among post-adolescents is necessary to ascertain whether or not this lower income delay affects the ultimate contribution of the adolescent growth spurt. These findings are consistent with the need for the creation of middle income growth standards specific to Black children and adolescents.