Document Type



The study includes measurements of height, weight, sitting height, upper arm circumference, triceps and subscapular skinfolds and maturity (bone age and age at menarche) of a cross-sectional sample of 4,3 89 white subjects aged 1 to 16 years and 8,297 white subjects aged 18 to 74 years, both samples being derived from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey I (NHANES I) data sets. Sex- and age-specific percentiles for bone age and age at menarche were calculated and subjects classified into two maturity groups: advanced and delayed. These two groups were then compared with respect to both body size and body proportions. The results show that advanced maturation in children is associated with increases in stature, weight, skinfold thicknesses, muscle size and sitting height but not with differences in sitting height index, which suggests that variability in maturity rate does not affect body proportions. Among adult women differences in recalled age at menarche were not associated with differences in any of the anthropometric dimensions, suggesting that maturity- related differences are of a transitory nature.