2009 Volume 117 Issue 2 Pages 69-76
This paper analyzes the secular trends in growth and body proportion among children and adolescents from 1985 to 2005 in Shandong, China. In this 20-year period, the means of stature and body weight increased rapidly. The increments of stature and body weight in subjects aged 7–18 were 4.67–8.80 cm (boys), 3.26–7.21 cm (girls), 4.65–12.85 kg (boys) and 3.36–8.03 kg (girls); the increments of stature and body weight in 13-year-old boys (from 154.27 to 163.07 cm and 41.84 to 54.69 kg) and 12-year-old girls (from 147.69 to 154.90 cm and 36.80 to 44.83 kg) were biggest, a rate of 4.40 cm and 6.43 kg per decade for 13-year-old boys and 3.61 cm and 4.02 kg per decade for 12-year-old girls. Body mass index (BMI) increased rapidly: the average increments of BMI for the subjects aged 7–18 were 2.13 kg/m2 (boys) and 1.20 kg/m2 (girls). There were significant differences in body proportion (relative sitting height, acromiocristal index) among children and adolescents between 1985 and 2005. Positive secular trends occurred in this group of children and adolescents in Shandong Province, China during the 20-year study period, which may reflect secular changes in socioeconomic status.