Physical development of girls from Krakow in the aspect of socioeconomical changes in Poland (1938-2010)

Department of Anthropology, University School of Physical Education, Kraków, Poland.
American Journal of Human Biology (Impact Factor: 1.7). 09/2012; 24(5):626-32. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22283
Source: PubMed


This survey aimed at analyzing secular changes in the development of girls from Krakow, in the first decade of the 21st century, against the background of transformations observed in the previous century.
The data collected during a survey conducted in Krakow in 2010, in which the measurements of a total of 1,974 girls aged 3.5-18.5 years were taken, made a basis for this study. The results from the contemporary series were compared with previous surveys conducted in 1938, 1971, 1983, and 2000. The analysis of the survey made use of the results of body height and weight measurements, BMI, and the menarche, thelarche, and pubarche onsets determining the level of pubertal development. The development of secondary sex characters was assessed utilizing the criteria 5-stage scale established by Tanner. The mean age of the menarche onset and ages at beginning breast (B2) and pubic hair (PH2) development were calculated by means of the probit method.
In the physical development of girls a positive trend in body height changes in prepubescence and adolescence was still observed. The acceleration of body weight development in peripubescence is expressed by increased BMI. It is spectacular that body build gets slimmer at the age of 17 and 18, which is probably connected with conscious control of body weight, and pubertal acceleration is also maintained.
Still observed trends in morphological factors and pubertal acceleration require further monitoring out of concern for the health and proper development of children and adolescents.

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