Modern approaches to assessing physical development of children and adolescents




children and adolescents, physical development, body mass index, caliperometry, bio-impedancemetry


Background. At present in Ukraine negative tendencies in terms of the physical development of the younger generation population have been revealed with the overweight issue getting increasingly urgent that is a predictor of obesity development in adulthood, an increase in levels of chronic somatic prevalence and mortality. The purpose of the research is to assess the level of the physical development of schoolchildren and to determine the most informative approach to determining risk groups in terms of nutritional status impairment. Materials and methods. We have conducted a cross-sectional examination of 277 schoolchildren aged 10–14 years (125 boys and 152 girls) based on the corresponding anthropometric parameters, Quetelet weight-to-height index, Vervek-Vorontsov index, the results of caliperometry and bio-impedancemetry with their further assessment according to the international and national standards. The data are statistically processed in the licensed package IBM SPSS Statistics v. 22, using the t-test and generalized linear models. Results. The analysis of sex and age peculiarities of the physical development has demonstrated a probable decrease in body mass index at the age of 11 and its increase at the age of 12 in both sex groups, the risk of obesity development in boys of 10 and 12 years, and harmonious development in girls observed. Based on the Vervek-Vorontsov index, elongation growth processes are noticed in eleven-year-old girls, and growth retardation processes are observed in ten-year-old schoolchildren of both sexes. A highly disharmonious physical development by the national regression scales is found at the age of 12, and harmonious development is revealed in ten-year-old boys and thirteen-year-old girls. The amount of adipose tissue content does not differ significantly across different age groups, and muscle content is considerably higher in boys of 14. Such data, in comparison with the body mass index, allow us to make an assumption that higher Quetelet indices are determined due to the developed muscle system and are not the proof of obesity development in boys. It is also confirmed by the results of caliperometry. According to the results of the anthropocentric research, two generalized integrative linear models have been developed to determine adipose and muscle tissue content. The comparison of the models obtained with the results of bio-impedancemetry has shown a high precision of the models developed, which has been proved by the results of the t-test. Conclusions. The study has proved the high informative value of the methods which have been used to assess the physical development and the relevance of their application as a component of the algorithm of the comprehensive assessment of schoolchildren’s physical development, which is potential for further monitoring and analyzing morphofunctional changes.


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Clinical Pediatrics