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Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jan-Feb;27(1):270-5. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112012000100036.

Changes of somatotype in high school students, V region, Chile: 1985-2010.

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Laboratorio de Antropología Física y Anatomía Humana, Laboratorio de Técnicas Anatómicas, Instituto de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile.



To determine the trend of high school students from Valparaíso Chile by means of an anthropometrical somatotype.


two samples of students during the years 1984-1985 (86 men and 71 women) and 2009-2010 (77 men and 86 women) between 15 and 18 years of age have been studied. Somatotype was estimated by the Heath-Carter anthropometric method.


significant differences were found in all the variables of the somatotype during the periods studied (p < 0.01), except for height (p = 0.176) and humeral breadth in women (p = 0.067). Important distinctions were also found in the endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic components (p < 0.01). Men measurements registered remarkable differences in all the variables (p < 0.01), with the exception of weight (p = 0.156), calf breadth (p = 0.906) and arm breadth in contraction (p = 0.284). Measurement results of endomorphic (p < 0.01), ectomorphic (p < 0.01) and mesomorfic components (p < 0.05) revealed considerable differences. During the period 1984-1985, men classified as balanced mesomorph 2.7-4.8-3.1 which switched to mesomorph-endomorph 3.8-4.3-2.5 in the period 2009-2010. And the population of women in the 1984-1985 period is classified as mesomorph-endomorph 4.2-4.7-2.1 and changes to a mesomorphic-endomorph biotype 6.6-4.1-1.3 in the 2009-2010.


the somatotype of the adolescent population, especially women in Valparaiso, Chile has changed to a predominant endomorphic biotype, and its mesomorphic component has decreased. A high relative adiposity contributes to increase the probability for these people to suffer non-transmissible chronic diseases and cardiovascular issues.

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