Chapter 1a: Height, Weight, Puberty and Adiposity
Pp. 5-24 (20)
Petr Sedlak and Jana Pařízková
Secular trend of body height was analyzed using the results of six Nationalwide
Anthropological Surveys in the Czech Republic (NAS) conducted in ten-years
intervals from 1951 to 2001. These data documented, similarly as in other countries a
continuing increase of body height, as a result of improving socio-economic conditions.
Highest increase of body height has occurred especially during puberty, due to the shift
of the start and of the individual stages of puberty to an earlier age. A shift to an earlier
age was revealed also in the age of adiposity rebound (AR), by more than one year
earlier in both genders. Along with these changes, adiposity evaluated by skinfolds has
been increasing, starting with preschool children; body mass index (BMI) during the
same period fluctuated insignificantly and has not revealed clearly changes of body
composition. Along with that, an alarmingly increasing prevalence of obesity in
children and adolescents has appeared as a result of imbalance between energy intake
(EI - nutrition) and energy expenditure (EE) due to sedentarism starting early in life.
Acceleration, Adiposity, Adolescents, Anthropological surveys, Body
height, Body mass index (BMI), Children, Environment, Genetic factors, Growth,
Growth velocity, Health menarche, Mutation, Obesity, Overweight, Puberty,
Secular changes, Skinfolds, Weight, Weight-to-height proporcionality.
Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Viničná 7, 128 00 Prague, Czech Republic.