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Anthropometric studies in Norwegian children.


A mixed longitudinal study of 3,068 children and adolescents from Bergen was carried out in the years from 1971-74. Measurements of height, weight, four skinfolds, biacromial and biiliac diameters, head and arm circumferences, arm length and sitting height, were taken. Distance centile charts were constructed for all 12 variables. Annual height and weight increments were also studied. Children in Bergen were taller in 1971-74 than in 1956 and approached the 1970 values from Oslo. Bergen children were smaller than Dutch children but were taller than children from other Scandinavian countries and children from some other Western countries. Median age at peak height velocity was 13.6 years in boys and 12.2 years in girls. The weights of pubertal girls varied considerably with a tendency to weight loss in some subjects. Weight for height centiles of Bergen children 1971-74 were closer to the results from Bergen 1956 than to Oslo children in 1970. When weights and skinfolds of Bergen children were compared to materials from other countries, a more complicated pattern was found. A tendency to overweight seen in adolescents living in Western countries, was also observed in the present material. A set of weight for height curves based on the median curve and the median weights -10%, +10%, +20%, and +30%, respectively, was found to be more close to the normal situation. This set of curves should therefore be used in practical clinical work. Children from Bergen had head circumferences relatively close to Danish children and larger than the most widely used international standards. Bergen children had similar or higher median sitting height, biacromial and biiliac diameters than children from other countries. Arm circumferences of Bergen children were smaller than in Dutch children and relatively similar to children from other countries. The present growth study may be regarded as representative of normal Norwegian children in a period with a high standard of living and small differences between various subgroups of the population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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