Author(s): Lebiedowska MK, Alter KE, Stanhope SJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To test the assumption of geometrically similar growth by developing experimentally derived models of human body growth during the age interval of 5 to 18 years; to use these derived growth models to establish a new human body shape index (HBSI) based on natural age-related changes in human body shape (HBS); and to compare various metrics of relative body weight (body mass index [BMI], ponderal index [PI], and HBSI) in a sample of 5- to 18-year-old children. STUDY DESIGN: Nondisabled Polish children (n = 847) participated in this descriptive study. To model growth, the best fit between body height (H) and body mass (M) was calculated for each sex using the allometric equation M = m(i) H(chi). HBSI was calculated separately for girls and boys, using sex-specific values for chi and a general HBSI from combined data. The customary BMI and PI were calculated and compared with HBSI values. RESULTS: The models of growth were M = 13.11H(2.84) (R2 = 0.90) for girls and M = 13.64H(2.68) (R2 = 0.91) for boys. HBSI values contained less inherent variability and were less influenced by growth (age and height) compared with BMI and PI. CONCLUSIONS: Age-related growth during childhood is sex-specific and not geometrically similar. Therefore, indices of HBS formulated from experimentally derived models of human growth are superior to customary geometric similarity-based indices for characterizing HBS in children during the formative growth years.
This article was published in J Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy