Growth and pubertal development in children and adolescents: effects of diet and physical activity.

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Charlottesville, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 09/2000; 72(2 Suppl):521S-8S.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The longitudinal growth of an individual child is a dynamic statement of the general health of that child. Measurements should be performed often and accurately to detect alterations from physiologic growth. Although any single point on the growth chart is not very informative, when several growth points are plotted over time, it should become apparent whether that individual's growth is average, a variant of the norm, or pathologic. Somatic growth and maturation are influenced by several factors that act independently or in concert to modify an individual's genetic growth potential. Linear growth within the first 2 y of life generally decelerates but then remains relatively constant throughout childhood until the onset of the pubertal growth spurt. Because of the wide variation among individuals in the timing of the pubertal growth spurt, there is a wide range of physiologic variations in normal growth. Nutritional status and heavy exercise training are only 2 of the major influences on the linear growth of children. In the United States, nutritional deficits result from self-induced restriction of energy intake. That single factor, added to the marked energy expenditure of training and competition for some sports, and in concert with the self-selection of certain body types, makes it difficult to identify the individual factors responsible for the slow linear growth of some adolescent athletes, for example, those who partake in gymnastics, dance, or wrestling.

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to analyze descriptive body structure model of physically active students. The sample included 137 male (23.1±2.6 yrs) and 113 female (22.0±2.3 years) students. Body composition was measured with InBody720 where 17 variables were used to define the morphological status. Students had the following characteristics: the body weight was – 82.88 vs. 61.02 kg, water content was 52.85 (63.44%) vs. 33.9 L (48.90%), the amount of proteins was 14.30 (17.22%) vs. 14.8 kg (14.94%), mineral mass was 4.8 (5.8%) vs. 3.2 kg (5.31%), fat weight was 11.3 (13.53%) vs. 14.8 kg (24.28%), and BMI value was 24.5±3.6 and 21.7±3.1 kg/m2 for males and female, respectively. A clear gender dimorphism was manifested - from 41% to 184%. A large majority of respondents (87-90%) of both genders can be classified in normal ranges of body fat percentage, which can be attributed to a higher level of physical activity.
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    ABSTRACT: A 2006 avian influenza (AI) outbreak resulted in mass removal of chickens in Lower Egypt, which decreased the household supply of poultry. Poultry, a key animal-source food, contains nutrients critical for child growth. This paper examines determinants of stunting between 2006 and 2008 in children 6 to 59 months of age within the context of the AI outbreak. The 2005 and 2008 nationally representative Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys (EDHS) were used to analyse anthropometric data from 7,794 children in 2005 and 6,091 children in 2008. Children, 6-59 months of age, with length for age Z-score < -2 S.D. were categorized as stunted. Predictors of stunting were examined by bivariate and multivariable analyses, focusing on Lower Egypt, where a rise in stunting occurred, and Upper Egypt, where stunting declined. Between 2005 and 2008, Upper Egypt experienced a significant decline in stunting (28.8 to 21.8%, P < 0.001). Lower Egypt experienced a significant rise in stunting (16.6 to 31.5%, P < 0.001), coinciding with the 2006 AI outbreak. In Lower Egypt (2008), households owning poultry were 41.7% less likely to have a stunted child [aOR 0.58; 95% CI (0.42, 0.81) P = 0.002], and 12-47 month old children were 2.12-2.34 times [95% CI (1.39 - 3.63) P ≤ 0.001] more likely to be stunted than 6-11 month old children. Older children were likely affected by AI, as these children were either in-utero or toddlers in 2006. In Upper Egypt, stunting peaked at 12-23 months [aOR 2.62, 95% CI (1.73-3.96), P < 0.001], with lowered risk (22-32%) of stunting in 24-47 month old children [aOR1.65, 95% 1.07-2.53, P = 0.022, 24-35 month old] and [aOR 1.57, 95% CI 1.01-2.43, P = 0.043 36-47 months old]. A two-fold increase in child consumption of sugary foods between 2005 and 2008 was found in Lower Egypt (24.5% versus 52.7%; P < .001). Decreased dietary diversity, reduced poultry consumption, substitution of nutritious foods with sugary foods paralleled a reduction in household raising of birds, following the AI outbreak in Lower Egypt and not Upper Egypt. Increased feeding of sugary foods due to fear of illness or greater penetration of these foods may be related to stunting. Advice on infant and young child feeding is needed to improve dietary intake and reduce sugary food consumption.
    BMC Public Health 03/2015; 15(1):285. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1627-3 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many athletes struggle with disordered eating or eating disorders (ED) as they attempt to conform to demands or competition regulations that might be ill-suited to their physique. In this situation, participation in sports may lead to an array of health concerns that may adversely affect the athlete’s short and long-term health at a variety of performance levels and sports. The peak onset of ED is adolescence, when most athletic participation and competition takes place and athletes begin to focus on a particularly sport. For athletes, the biological changes occurring during adolescence might affect not only attitudes toward weight and shape, but also performance. To prevent the medical and psychological consequences related to ED, early intervention and identification is important. Aims: The overall aim of this thesis was to examine the effect of a one-year school-based intervention program to prevent the development of new cases of ED and symptoms associated with ED among adolescent male and female elite athletes (Paper II). An educational program was developed for coaches and included as a separate part of the intervention program. In Paper III, we examine the effect of the education program on the coaches’ knowledge about nutrition, weight regulation, and ED. In Paper I, we investigate the prevalence of ED among adolescent elite athletes compared to non-athletic controls. Finally, we wanted to design and validate a brief screening questionnaire with the ability to discriminate between athletes with and without an ED (Paper IV). Methods: First-year students (athletes) and their coaches at all the Norwegian Elite Sport High Schools (n=16) and first-year students (controls) at two randomly selected regular high schools participated in the three school year project period (2008 to 2011). In phase I (pretest) of the study all the schools were included and the students were screened for symptoms associated with ED and ED. In phase II, the Elite Sport High Schools were stratified (by size) and randomized to the intervention (n=9) or control group (n=7). The intervention group received the intervention program. Data from the athletes and their coaches at phase I and II, and data from the controls at phase I are included in this thesis. Paper I: In this cross-sectional study we used a two-tiered approach: self-reported questionnaire (part I) and clinical interview (part II). The questionnaire, including the Eating Disorder Inventory 2 (EDI-2) and questions related to ED, was completed by 611 athletes (90%) and 355 controls (84%). Subjects reporting symptoms associated with ED were classified as “at risk” for ED. In part II, all at-risk athletes (n=153), a random sample not at risk for ED (n=153), and a random sample of 50% of the controls classified as at risk (n=91) and not at risk (n=88) were invited to the clinical interview (Eating Disorder Examination) to screen for ED. Paper II: The 611 athletes participating in Paper I formed the basis of this randomized controlled trial (RCT). After the pretest (Paper I) all athletes (and coaches, Paper III) from each school were randomized to the same treatment arm (intervention or control). A final sample of 465 (93.8%) athletes was followed during high school. The athletes completed the questionnaire screening at pretest (Paper I), pottest 1 (after the intervention) and posttest 2 (9-months after intervention). Clinical interviews were conducted after pretest and at posttest 2 (one-year after intervention). Paper III: In this part of the RCT 76 coaches (93.8%) employed at and working with the first-year students at the Elite Sport High Schools were followed during the project period. At pretest and posttest (9-months after intervention) the coaches completed a questionnaire including questions concerning nutrition, weight-regulation, and ED. Paper IV: We conducted this prospective cross-sectional study in three phases. Phase I consist of data from the screening at pretest among the female athletes (Paper I). Based on the questionnaire screening we extracted items with good predictive abilities for an ED-diagnosis to the Brief ED in Athletes Questionnaire (BEDA-Q) version 1 and version 2. Version 1 consisted of 7-items from the EDI-Body dissatisfaction, EDI-Drive for thinness, and questions regarding dieting. In version 2, two items from the EDI-Perfectionism subscale were added. In phase II, the external predictive validity of version 1 was tested involving 54 age-matched elite athletes from an external dataset. In phase III, the predictive ability of posttest assessments was determined among athletes with no ED at pretest (n=53, 100%). Main results: 1) No new cases of ED in athletes at the intervention schools one-year after the intervention program, while 13% of the females and one male at the control schools developed ED. 2) Coaches at the intervention schools had higher scores on total knowledge, weight-regulation and ED compared to coaches at the control schools after intervention. The intervention also showed positive effects on the coaches’ subjective evaluation of their ED knowledge. 3) Higher prevalence of ED in adolescent elite athletes than controls (although more controls than athletes reported symptoms associated with ED. 4) BEDA-Q version 2 showed higher discriminative accuracy than version 1 in distinguishing athletes with and without an ED, and higher diagnostic accuracy in predicting new cases of ED than version 1. Conclusions: A one-year school-based intervention program can prevent new cases of ED and symptoms associated with ED in adolescent female elite athletes. The intervention part targeting the coaches with strategies of identification, management and prevention of ED produced significant effect of at least 9-months. It is confirmed that the prevalence of ED is higher among adolescent elite athletes than controls and higher in female than male adolescent elite athletes. Finally, BEDA-Q containing 9-items reveal promising psychometric and predictive features to distinguish between adolescent female elite athletes with and without ED. Key words: athletes, coaches, eating disorders, prevalence, prevention, screening, instrument, intervention
    02/2015, Degree: PhD

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