Child and adolescent growth and adult status in size and body composition were surveyed in 542 nomadic Turkana pastoralists from northwest Kenya. Height, weight and selected skinfold measurements were employed to derive weight/height index and cross-sectional areas of fat and muscle of the upper arm and calf. Turkana are similar to other pastoralists (Kenya Masai and Rwanda Tutsi) in being tall and lean in physique. The Turkana achieve parity in adult stature with both U.S. Euro-Americans and Afro-Americans by a pattern of prolonged growth into the late teens and early twenties. Cross-sectional areas of fat and muscle in Turkana were substantially lower than in U.S. age-mates, although proportional relationships between fat and muscle were comparable in the U. S. and Turkana samples. A single exception was near Turkana/U.S. equivalence in arm muscle cross-sectional area of women that was attributed to the training effect of Turkana female lifting activities.
Little, Michael A.; Galvin, Kathleen; and Mugambi, Mutuma
"Cross-Sectional Growth of Nomadic Turkana Pastoralists,"
4, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol55/iss4/9