Physical growth of children and adolescents at moderate altitudes

R. Gómez-Campos, Jose Alfredo Sulla Torres, W. Cossio-Bolaños, C. Andruske, C. Luarterocha, F. Castelli Correia De Campos, C. Urra-Albornoz, M. Cossio-Bolaños

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Physical growth assessments are useful for monitoring the nutritional status and for gauging inequalities in human development among different populations. The objectives of this research were a) to compare variables of weight, height, and Body Mass Index (BMI) with the international reference for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); b) to verify if BMI and/or Ponderal Index (PI) are applicable to children and adolescents living at moderate altitudes; and c) to propose percentiles to classify physical growth. This study included 3136 children and adolescents living at moderate altitude (2320 m). Weight and height were assessed. BMI and PI were calculated. In this sample, weight differences occurred in females from 10 to 17 years old and in males from ages 12 to 17 years. For height, differences occurred in males from 10 to 17 years old while in females, differences occurred in all age groups. For BMI, differences in males began at age 15 and in females at 14 years. In both sexes, chronological age, weight, and height influenced the BMI when analyzed by nutritional category (R2=29-82%) and in general (R2=16-66%). These same variables mildly influenced the PI when analyzed generally (R2=0.01-0.06%) and by nutritional categories of PI (R2=0.00-0.46%). In conclusion, children and adolescents at moderate altitudes differed in weight, height, and BMI when compared to the CDC reference. The use of PI instead of BMI is suggested for classifying the nutritional status and the proposed percentiles in clinical and epidemiological contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Espanola de Antropologia Fisica
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Sociedad Española de Antropología Física


  • Growth factor
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Obesity
  • Physical growth


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